File for Divorce in Monroe County, West Virginia (WV) | Divorce in Monroe County

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Online Divorce in Monroe County

divorce in Monroe County

Please note: OnlineDivorce.com in Monroe County, West Virginia, is a divorce document preparation service, not a law firm. Online Divorce is not eligible to provide legal advice. All the information below is for informational purposes only.

Having an amicable divorce in West Virginia is a reality for many divorcing couples nowadays. In Monroe County, spouses can facilitate their divorce proceedings if they agree on all the divorce-related issues before the judge starts reviewing their divorce paperwork.

The two most contentious aspects of any divorce are children and money. If you and your spouse do not have children together, much marital property to share, or can manage to agree and compromise on child custody, support, alimony, and property division, you can have a relatively fast and easy divorce in Monroe County.

Many couples worry about the cost of the divorce process and legal fees. However, if you elect to have an uncontested divorce, you don’t need to hire an attorney. You can submit the divorce documents and start a divorce on your own. Having a divorce without a lawyer is known as a Do-It-Yourself divorce, and it allows many couples to end their marriage in an affordable way. However, before you start, you are advised to learn about the necessary steps and legal procedures in a DIY divorce in Monroe County.

OnlineDivorce.com is a document preparation service that assists divorcing couples in Monroe County to complete and file legal divorce forms. Choose OnlineDivorce.com to avoid feeling stressed and confused when filling out court forms. We provide state-specific divorce forms suitable for your family situation (with or without minor children) and easy to understand filing instructions. Informational packets guide you through every step in the divorce timeline so you can feel confident in what you do.

E-filing is not available in West Virginia at the moment. You will need to bring the completed and notarized paperwork to the courthouse and file it with the court’s clerk. By using OnlineDivorce.com, you don’t need to worry about filing the wrong forms. The automated packet will only include the forms that fit your specific situation. At a very reasonable price, you get court-approved printable forms filled out based on your case’s circumstances, and all your data will be 100% secure.

Before starting your divorce, learn more about how to get a divorce in Monroe County on your own.

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Check if you qualify for an online divorce in Monroe County, WV

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Valid grounds to get divorce in Monroe County

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Under West Virginia Law, living apart for a year or citing ‘irreconcilable differences’ is considered a substantial ground for divorce. The signatures of both spouses are required when filing for a no-fault divorce.

According to WV CODE § 48-5-202 Grounds for divorce; voluntary separation, ‘living separate and apart for one year’ implies that spouses don’t cohabitate or interrupt their separation for the mentioned period. It is one of the no-fault grounds for divorce.

‘Irreconcilable differences’ is another no-fault ground. The court will not require the spouses to corroborate this ground, as is the case with fault-based grounds (See WV CODE § 48-5-201. Grounds for divorce; irreconcilable differences).

West Virginia Family Law provides a list of fault-based grounds. They qualify a divorce as contested and require legal counsel (See Grounds for Divorce in West Virginia).

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Custody of the child in Monroe County

Custody of the child in Monroe County

A Parenting Plan is a document that expresses the parents’ custodial and decision-making intentions. Since an uncontested divorce requires cooperation and compromise, by timely submitting a Parenting Plan, spouses demonstrate to the court their readiness and ability to care for their child after divorce.

The parenting plan memorializes visitation time, holiday and vacation schedules, decision-making allocations, and provisions regarding possible future disputes. The judge reviews the parenting plan and decides whether the custodial solutions suggested by the parents serve the best interests of the child.

Being the court’s top priority, according to WV CODE § 48-9-102, the best interests of the child are defined as the security, physical health, and mental stability of the child, as well as parental planning and caretaking, meaningful contact, and existing attachment between each parent and the child.

Monroe County courts aim to make custodial decisions in fairness to each parent. Thus, the court considers prior agreements between the parents and the parent’s past participation in childcare and child-related decision-making.

Deciding on legal and physical custody separately, the court typically expresses a joint custody preference. Unless one parent is deemed ill-fit for child-caring responsibilities or violent, a Monroe County court will share legal custody (decision-making responsibilities) between both parents.

As for physical custody in Monroe County, the court examines the living arrangements of both parents and practical aspects. This can include the distance between the parents' residences, the cost and difficulty of transporting the child, the parents' and child's daily schedules, and the parents’ ability to cooperate. The court may award sole physical custody to one parent, making the other a non-custodial parent with visitation rights (See WV CODE § 48-9-206. Allocation of custodial responsibility).

Many parents of minor children are mandated to take a parenting class to facilitate the transition after divorce.

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Rules for child support in Monroe County

Under the West Virginia Code WV CODE § 48-13-102, children have a right to share the living standards both parents currently have, and the family had during the marriage. The court reviews the Parenting Plan or considers child support on a case-to-case basis, the judge factors in such aspects as household income and each parent’s contribution, the actual dollar expenditures on each child, and any additional expenses that may arise.

Before the court places a child support order, the parents are obliged to submit their actual financial information in the Child Support Worksheet forms, Parenting Plan, and other types of financial disclosure (See WV CODE § 48-13). The court uses the Income Shares Model, where the amount of support calculated using both parents’ incomes is split proportionally to each parent’s income.

Using the West Virginia Child Support Guidelines, the court “may either disregard the guidelines or adjust the guidelines-based award to accommodate the needs of the child or children or the circumstances of the parent or parents” (WV CODE § 48-13-702. Disregard of formula). Several factors can influence the amount, including special needs, educational expenses, long-distance visitation costs, extraordinary child care obligations, low income, etc.

Typically, the noncustodial parent pays a greater amount in child support if they have a higher income. For example, if a parent has a monthly income of $1000, the amount of monthly child support payments is $205, while the monthly income of $2000 requires $373 in child support.

West Virginia facilitates child support payments for payors and payees by withholding it from paychecks, benefits, and other means. Furthermore, West Virginia charges 10% interest on late child support payments and arrears.

Child support is paid until the child reaches 18 years of age, graduates from high school, marries, loses its disability status, or dies.

Rules for spousal support in Monroe County

Rules for spousal support in Monroe County

In Monroe County, an award of spousal support can be ordered to either spouse in the form of (1) permanent spousal support; (2) temporary spousal support, otherwise known as spousal support pendente lite; (3) rehabilitative spousal support; and (4) spousal support in gross.

However, there is one primary condition for an award of spousal support laid down in WV CODE § 48-8-101. General provisions regarding spousal support: to get spousal support, the spouses must be living separately and apart.

If you meet this primary requirement, a Monroe County court will consider each spouse’s needs, abilities, work history, contribution to the household, incomes, and other relevant factors. Although this factor may be irrelevant for a no-fault divorce, West Virginia law considers the marital misconduct of either spouse during deliberations on spousal support.

Monroe County courts typically decide alimony on a case-to-case basis, factoring in how long the spouses are married and separated, how old and how healthy each spouse is, the previous standard of living, with which parent the children live, etc. Legal obligations and tax consequences to each spouse in case of spousal support payments are also considered. At that, Monroe County does not recognize property division when determining spousal support.

If there are any significant changes in either party’s life, the court may reconsider an award of spousal support in terms of duration and an amount.

Use an alimony calculator and learn how much you may pay or receive for spousal support payments in Monroe County.

Uncontested Monroe County divorce with children

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Property division in Monroe County

Property division in Monroe County

As parties in an uncontested divorce, you have ample opportunities to revolve all property-related issues before the judge reviews your case. Couples who have significant assets can hire property appraisers and real estate managers to help them handle the distribution of marital assets. Those couples who need to divide only the family vehicles, pets, furniture, and home may agree to do it independently. Mind that pension and retirement benefits also belong to marital property. You may need legal representation if you want to have the pension valued properly.

In Monroe County, divorcing spouses submit a marital settlement agreement where they pencil in their property-related decisions. If spouses fail to resolve property division on their own, the court divides the marital estate for them. Monroe County applies dual classification where only marital property is divided equally, whereas separate property stays with its original owner.

As soon as the court classifies the property as marital and separate and evaluates it, it shall divide marital property equally according to WV CODE § 48-7-101. Equal division of marital property. However, there can be factors used to adjust the property distribution so that it is not 50/50. Instead, the court carefully considers on a case-to-case basis both monetary and non-monetary contributions to the property and marriage from both spouses. Non-monetary contributions refer to childcare, homemaking, domestic labor (typically unpaid), and lost job opportunities that contributed to one spouse’s career.

Mediation support in Monroe County

West Virginia’s Code § 48-1-233.1 defines mediation as “a method of alternative dispute resolution” and “an informal, non-adversarial process” where a mediator is neutral. Since a mediator is a third party, mediation is often a less stressful and inexpensive way to negotiate divorce-related issues without taking anyone’s side.

However, the mediator has no authority to render a judgment on any issue of the dispute. The mediator’s role is to assist a couple in coming to an agreement and memorializing it in a written form that will later be submitted to the court.

A Monroe County court may order mediation for divorcing couples with minor children. According to West Virginia’s Code § 48-9-202 Court-ordered services, spouses who are recipients of mediation services shall pay an hourly fee on a uniform sliding scale corresponding to each parent’s financial circumstances.

How to file for divorce in Monroe County | Step-by-Step

1

Meet the residency requirements. Under WV CODE § 48-5-105, the spouses automatically qualify to file for a divorce in Monroe County if they were married in the state, and one spouse is currently a resident. In all other cases, at least one spouse must have lived in the state for a year uninterruptedly. Meet the residency requirements

2

Obtain and fill out the court forms. Which forms you need to fill out will depend on whether or not you have children. Fill out the corresponding legal forms you can get from a local courthouse or OnlineDivorce.com. If you have any questions about filling out the forms, the court staff will help you, but they cannot give legal advice. Besides, OnlineDivorce.com provides detailed step-by-step instructions on completing and filing divorce forms.
Mind that some forms must be signed in front of a notary (it refers to as ‘notarization’ and is a chargeable service).
You may not need copies of all the divorce forms you and your spouse fill out, but make sure you have two copies of the Petition for Divorce and the Case Information Sheet. Obtain and fill out the court forms

3

File the court forms. At the county clerk’s office, hand over the divorce papers to the court’s clerk and pay the filing fees. The clerk will assign your case a number and file the originals. The copies will be stamped and returned to you: one copy is for your records and the other for your spouse. File the court forms

4

Serve the spouse. Although your divorce is uncontested, state law requires the petitioner to serve the divorce papers to the defendant. At the same time, state law does not allow one spouse to deliver the papers personally. Serving should be done by a third party: friend, relative, sheriff, or mail. If you have no friend or family member to ask to hand-deliver the divorce papers to your spouse, hire a professional process server. The fee is around $20 to $50 in Monroe County.
Whatever method of serving you select, an Acceptance of Service must be filed with the court to prove that your spouse was informed of the divorce. Serve the spouse

5

Have a hearing scheduled. West Virginia established a 20-day waiting period after serving the papers on the defendant before a divorce case can be scheduled. In the meantime, divorcing spouses take a parent education class, sign and submit their marital settlement agreement, and provide all the required paperwork (for example, financial information). Therefore, make sure that you file all the necessary forms timely and correctly. Have a hearing scheduled

6

Attend the final hearing to finalize your divorce. At the hearing, the judge will ask your reasons for divorce (irreconcilable differences) and some questions about custody, support, and property division to ensure you thoroughly worked out all the details. If your settlement agreement is in order and your answers are reasonable, the judge will require you to file the Findings of Fact and Decree of Divorce. After the judge signs these forms, your divorce is final. Attend the final hearing to finalize your divorce

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Filing fees for divorce in Monroe County

Monroe County courts charge around $135 for filing a Divorce Petition. If this amount is unaffordable for you, you may qualify as a low-income state resident. Ask the court’s clerk for a fee waiver affidavit. Fill it out and submit it for the judge to review. If you qualify for a fee waiver, you will be exempt from paying filing fees.

How long will it take?

Although West Virginia has a mandatory 20-day waiting period for a divorce, the length of the divorce process can be relatively short. It largely depends on how fast you can prepare the necessary paperwork and how accurately you complete and submit it. Overall, there are several critical points in the divorce timeline. In Monroe County, the divorce starts from the moment the defendant is served. Add 20 days, and you can have your divorce process over if all required paperwork is done timely and correctly. Attend a hearing and see the judge sign the Decree of Divorce.

Filing for divorce in Monroe County | Frequently Asked Questions

How much does a divorce cost in Monroe County?
There are several layers of costs and expenses in divorce proceedings, and some of them can be avoided. Court fees are the minimum charge on divorce. In Monroe County, filing fees average from around $135. Add a serving fee by the Sheriff’s Department, $25, or by certified mail, $20. This type of cost can be avoided if you can prove by receipts from your bank account and expenses that you qualify as a low-income resident. To do so, apply for a fee waiver.
Next, you may need to pay expert fees if you hire counsel, mediation, appraisers, therapists, pension planners, etc. You cannot avoid this type of expense unless you and your spouse resolve all the divorce-related issues on your own. If you absolutely must hire legal representation, ask your lawyer about a payment plan or deterrents.
In some cases, a higher-earning spouse can be ordered by the court to pay the lower-earning spouse’s court fees and legal expenses.

How to file for divorce in Monroe County without a lawyer?
First of all, OnlineDivorce.com provides comprehensive information on filing for a DIY divorce in your county.
To launch divorce proceedings in Monroe County, one spouse must fill out the divorce court forms and submit them to the court. If both spouses agree to sign the divorce paperwork and sort out custody, support, and finances amicably, a divorce process moves swiftly.

What are the required forms for an uncontested divorce in Monroe County?
A Monroe County divorce form kit (with children) includes:

  • Petition for Divorce
  • Civil Case Information Statement
  • Vital Statistics Form
  • BCSE Application and Income Withholding Form
  • Acceptance of Service
  • Certificate of Service
  • Answer
  • Financial Statement
  • Proposed Parenting Plan
  • Proposed Parenting Plan Worksheet
  • Motion to Adopt Proposed Parenting Plan
  • Notice of Hearing

Can I file for legal separation in Monroe County, WV?
Yes. Legal separation is allowed in West Virginia and is referred to as separate maintenance. If you elect to file for separate maintenance instead of divorce, remember that you remain married and cannot remarry unless you get an official divorce.

When is it allowed to remarry after a divorce?
There are no restrictions on divorced people concerning remarriage after divorce in Monroe County.

Divorce in Monroe County online

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Here is how OnlineDivorce.com makes completing divorce papers easier:

  • We provide the full divorce packet required by the local court - clients do not need to drive to their local courthouse to get the blank forms or search for the right divorce forms online. In rare cases, local county forms can vary in color, paper material, size, or bar code, so they may need to be obtained directly from the county clerk's office.
  • We complete the necessary forms for clients based on their answers given in a simple guided online interview - clients do not need to understand family law or read through complicated instructions to figure out how to fill out the forms themselves.
  • We give detailed, easy to follow step-by-step instructions for filing a divorce with the court - so the client knows exactly what to do to get his/her divorce finalized.
  • We provide unlimited technical support - if a client needs assistance through the online process, he/she can always reach out to us via phone, email, or live chat, and we'll do our best to help.
  • We save our clients time and money - if divorcing spouses agree regarding the terms of their divorce, they typically don’t have to pay thousands to a lawyer to handle their divorce forms and don't need to spend hours trying to do it all by themselves.

Divorce Courts in Monroe County, West Virginia

Family Court
Judge Name:
David M. Sanders
Clerk Name:
Donald Evans
Court Address:
106 South Court Street, Lewisburg, West Virginia 24901
Phone:
(304) 772-3096