• Parkersburg, WV Divorce Lawyers

    Divorce Lawyers

Parkersburg, WV Divorce Lawyers

When your marriage ends, everything is painful—handling the legal side of your split feels even more stressful. Too many people move to a quick settlement with the goal of ending their marriage as quickly as possible, even though doing so means giving up their share of the marital estate or losing time with their children. While advocating for yourself during this period can be challenging, having a strong legal team by your side does make it a little easier. As you handle the emotional side of your divorce, we’ll handle the legal side with care. Learn more about your next steps now by contacting the Parkersburg divorce lawyers at Pence Law Firm. Give us a call at 304-407-7852 to get started.

West Virginia Divorce Law

Each state has its own set of divorce laws, and you should know what you’re going up against before you get too far into the process. While these laws are often fairly similar from state to state, there are some that are significantly different—and missing that could make a huge difference in your divorce.

West Virginia is one of just a few states that still recognizes fault divorces. Although most couples opt for a no-fault divorce—when both parties recognize an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage—one party may initiate a fault-based divorce if they can prove adultery, abuse, addiction, desertion for at least six months, child neglect or abuse, or conviction of a crime.

You should also verify that you meet residency requirements before filing. One party must be a resident at the time of the filing, and they must have been a resident for at least one year prior to filing. The one-year period is waived if the parties married in West Virginia.

Choosing Your Approach to Divorce

Your approach to your divorce may determine what you walk away with, how your co-parenting relationship begins, and how you start this new chapter of your life. The traditional approach is a more adversarial one that puts both parties on opposite sides. This tends to be more contentious and can break down the co-parenting relationship, particularly if there’s a serious breakdown in communication and respect. 

Another approach gaining significant popularity is mediation. This approach puts both parties on the same side. It recognizes that they may have different goals but still want to end the marriage in a fair and amicable way. This is especially popular among parents, as they will have to maintain a co-parenting relationship for years to come.

The Division of Assets

Since West Virginia is an equitable distribution state, your assets may be split up in a way that is fair to everyone involved. This may be a 50/50 division, but often differs slightly. Factors that may come into play include both parties’ contributions to the marriage, each spouse’s financial stability outside the marital assets, and each party’s earning capacity. 

Only marital assets are subject to division. Separate assets include those that were earned prior to the marriage or after separation. Note, though, that even separate assets can become marital assets if they are commingled with marital assets. That’s why it’s important to discuss your next steps with an attorney; if your separate assets are commingled, you’ll want to understand your next steps and potential losses immediately.

Common types of property to split up in a divorce include real estate, checking and savings accounts, retirement accounts, and vehicles.

Addressing Your Children’s Needs: Child Custody and Child Support

Issues of child custody and child support often take a significant amount of time to work through. Both parents want what is best for their children, but it’s common for both parents to disagree on what that actually means. Try to exercise patience during this process and recognize that you are both working toward the same goal, even if it’s hard to see that.

Child custody is a sensitive issue among many divorcing couples. Like most other states, West Virginia favors agreements that allow both parents substantial time with their children. However, if one parent puts the child in danger, that is no longer the case—at all times, the child’s best interests are the top priority. A 50/50 schedule is often the goal, but most parents work out a schedule that accommodates both parents’ work schedules, preferences, and other obligations.

Child support is partially affected by the custody agreement. Both parents’ incomes are included in child support calculations, so having 50/50 custody doesn’t necessarily mean that no child support is owed or paid. Your attorney can walk you through West Virginia calculations.

Spousal Support

Spousal support comes into play in marriages involving significant earning disparities. If one party opts to work as a homemaker and raise the children, they may be entitled to spousal support. Their labor made it possible for the other party to pursue their career to the extent that they did, and spousal support compensated them for that. There are several types of spousal support awarded in West Virginia, and much depends on the length of the marriage and the extent of the earning disparity. After a divorce, financial adjustments may be necessary on both sides.

How Pence Law Firm Can Help You

At Pence Law Firm, we understand how overwhelmed you may feel as you prepare for your divorce. No one ever anticipates their marriage ending this way, and coming face-to-face with it can be devastating. But the decisions you make during this time are incredibly important, and it’s important to make those decisions from a place of logic. That’s where we come in. By handling the legal aspects of your divorce, we give you space to handle your emotional needs. We advocate for your best interests every step of the way.

Reach Out Today to Discuss Your Parkersburg Divorce

Let’s sit down, learn more about your goals, and help you develop a plan. With Pence Law Firm working for you, you can feel confident and calm as you prepare for this major life change. Contact us online or call us at 304-407-7852 to set up a consultation.

Thank you for your interest in our Firm. Do not hesitate to contact us by phone at (304) 345-7250 or through our online form to learn more about our practice and how we can help you or your company achieve your goals.

Get to Know Our Team

Choosing Pence Law Firm, PLLC

Why our team is the right choice:

Knowledgeable Legal Team

We have are recognized by clients ranging from individuals to publicly traded companies for high quality, efficient legal representation.

Expansive Experience

Our experienced attorneys in Charleston, WV have highly distinguished qualifications and are nationally recognized for legal excellence.

Personal Dedication

We pride ourselves on being a multi-faceted law firm – strong in a wide range of practice areas and prioritize personally meeting and exceeding our clients’ expectations.

Record of Success

Our reputation speaks for itself; we have successfully fought for hundreds of clients and have won cases that represent a brighter future for our clients.