West Virginia Divorce Requirements
The state of West Virginia requires individuals applying for divorce to
first be West Virginia citizens for a minimum of one year prior to
petitioning. These residency requirements are a necessity as all
divorce cases are handled by the county district courts.
If a court does not have the proper jurisdiction over a case, the case
will be thrown out. If the individuals requesting a divorce were
married in the state of West Virginia then the one-year residency
requirement is eliminated.
Under West Virginia law individuals filing for divorce are required to
file for divorce in their county of residency. If the West Virginia
citizens reside in different counties, they may file for divorce in
either county or in the county in which they last lived together.
If individuals were married in the state boundaries of West Virginia
then the divorce petition is to be filed in the county of the marriage.
If an individual is not a West Virginia citizen, he or she may file for
divorce in the county of his or her spouse's West Virginia residency.
Grounds for Divorce
When petitioning for divorce individuals are required to state the
reasons for why they are requesting a divorce. These reasons are called
the grounds for divorce. Spouses may agree upon divorce grounds
together and present them to the court or one spouse may file for
divorce on specific grounds but will then be required to prove those
grounds before the court.
Each state has different grounds on which divorces are legal. Simply
because one state has specific divorce grounds does not mean they are
legal in the state West Virginia.
A divorce is legal on the grounds of two sections: No-Fault grounds and
Fault grounds. Grounds for divorce under No-Fault purposes do not cite
one individual responsible for the divorce decree, as it is often
No-Fault grounds hold two different categories. The first is where the
individuals involved have resided at different residences for a minimum
of one year. Under these terms the time cannot be interrupted. This
kind of separation can be due to mutual agreement or through the
voluntary decision of one individual.
The second category is under irreconcilable differences where the
individuals cite that the marriage is beyond repair. Under No-Fault
grounds individuals often enter into marriage counseling prior to
filing for divorce.
Fault grounds cite one individual responsible for the divorce decree.
West Virginia divides its Fault section into seven categories. The
first of these is the attempt to bodily injury a spouse. Either spouse
may be responsible for this act.
The second is that of committing mental or psychological abuse or
inflicting harm to an individual's physical body. Either spouse may
inflict such harm for a divorce to be valid.
The third is that of accusing adultery of either spouse or
The fourth is that of committing adultery by either spouse.
The fifth is that of willfully neglecting a child or a spouse or
abusing a child or a spouse.
The sixth is that of incurable and permanent insanity.
The final Fault ground is that of felony conviction.