During a divorce in West Virginia, the family court judge decides the divorce. West Virginia has 35 family court judges in 26 family court circuits. The judge depends on where the divorce is filed. The judge can decide on property, debts, alimony, child custody, and child support in a divorce.
Any property owned by both spouses will be divided. If the couple cannot come to an agreement on how to divide the property, the judge will decide who gets certain marital property. Marital property typically means anything obtained during the marriage including money earned, money put into the other spouses retirement, home, and land. In order for one spouse to receive the house or land, they must buy out the other spouse’s equity. Debts, including loans, credit cards, and bills, are divided in the same manner as marital property.
The judge can also decide alimony payments. There are several types of alimony. Alimony can be permanent, temporary, contract alimony, or rehabilitative alimony. There are many things to take into consideration when deciding on alimony. Factors include how long the couple has been married, the financial situation of each spouse, the ability to support themselves on their own, how long they have gone to school, and how long they have been off the job market.
Child custody is decided when a Parenting Plan is agreed to. Often, it is suggested that activities done with one parent before the divorce should be continued with that parent after the divorce. Both parents often share the decision-making responsibility of the child for major decisions. In the state of West Virginia, there is a formula to determine child support payments.
If you are thinking about getting a divorce, contact one of our West Virginia divorce attorneys to help guide you through the process or answer any questions you may have.