In order to file for divorce in West Virginia, a couple must first establish grounds (or reasons) for getting divorced. In order to have a ground, the couple must prove that ground. A spouse only needs to prove one ground in order to have the divorce granted.
There are a several types of grounds for divorce, the most common being irreconcilable differences. This is a no-fault option. If this is the ground the couple is trying to establish, both spouses must agree. If both spouses separately sign in writing claiming irreconcilable differences, nothing else needs to be proven. If the couple cannot agree on irreconcilable differences, West Virginia offers an additional no-fault ground of voluntary separation.
If irreconcilable differences are not agreed upon, the couple must prove a different ground. It can be difficult to prove a ground of divorce. It is safer to list more than one ground in the event one cannot be proven. At-fault grounds can sometimes alter the judge’s decision regarding alimony and whether to limit child custody. When trying to prove an at-fault ground, the couple must not condone the situation, otherwise, it will not work. At-fault grounds can include adultery, habitual drunkenness or drug addiction, desertion, abuse or neglect of a child or stepchild, cruel or inhuman treatment, conviction of a crime, and permanent and incurable insanity.
No matter the situation, divorce is a hard process for a family to go through. If you or a loved one is considering divorce, contact one of our West Virginia divorce attorneys for any questions you may have or for more information on the grounds of divorce.