Attention: Beginning July 10, 2021, West Virginia will now be a 50/50 custody state meaning custody of your children may be drastically affected! Call now to schedule a consultation to discuss your legal rights!

Law Office Of Scott E. Elswick
Law Office Of Scott E. Elswick
  • 100 Capitol St., 4th Floor Charleston, WV 25301
  • Call Now (304) 314-4775

    To Schedule A Personalized Consultation!

Divorce

Divorce is the most common type of family law matter. It is usually accompanied by more than one family issue, such as child custody, child support, spousal support, and asset division. If you are going through a divorce, it is essential to enlist the assistance of a divorce lawyer. It is important to retain a divorce lawyer who knows the law and how it will affect your decisions and proceedings.

High Net Worth Divorce

Some of the most complex divorces that exist are high net worth divorces. High net worth divorces require the expertise of a high net worth divorce lawyer who can help the spouses transition smoothly and effectively into the next phase of their lives. Since these types of divorces usually encompass large estates, property, and assets, it is crucial to hire a high net worth divorce lawyer who is seasoned in this area. With so much on the line, it is vital to secure and protect your assets and children throughout these proceedings. The best way to protect your best interests is to hire a skilled high net worth divorce lawyer.

Asset & Property Division

The process of sorting through and dividing all marital and nonmarital assets, property, and debts is a significant part of getting divorced. Before moving forward with a dissolution of marriage, it is wise to talk to a divorce lawyer about how to proceed. Asset and property division can prompt contentious disputes. The process can be even more complicated in high net worth divorces. In addition to assisting with asset division, a family lawyer can help ensure that the division is equitable. It is important to find an attorney who can adequately assess your property. An accurate asset valuation can safeguard your right to fair property division.

Divorce Lawyer In Charleston, WV

Going through a divorce can be a very difficult time in anyone’s life, whether or not they are able to reach an agreement with their spouse about all of the relevant issues. Even if you and your spouse have decided to work together through a divorce, there will still be many complicated, tense legal issues that you will need to work through to reach an agreement. Without the help of an experienced attorney, this process can be overwhelming.

The team at the Law Office Of Scott E. Elswick is more than happy to schedule an initial consultation with you so that you can speak directly and candidly to an experienced legal professional about your situation. We understand that this can be a confusing time in your life, which is why we take the time to understand our clients’ needs and unique situations before we start to build a case for them.

Read more below about some general information regarding divorces in West Virginia, and contact us now to discuss the specifics of your own situation. There are many different details and variables that we will need to understand in order to give you a better idea of what to expect throughout the duration of this process. The sooner you contact us, the sooner we will be able to begin our work together in a way that is productive, helpful, and maximizes your chances of a positive or favorable outcome.

Filing For Divorce In Charleston, West Virginia

​The first steps towards filing for a divorce in West Virginia involve gathering all of the necessary documentation, completing all of the relevant paperwork, and submitting it to the Family Court. Depending on your family situation, you will need to complete paperwork about your finances, children and dependants, as well as the petition for divorce.

Once you have filed the paperwork, you will need to wait for your spouse to be served their copy of the divorce papers. Once served, you will need to prepare for your initial court date. During this time, you can decide whether it’s best to agree or ask the Court for resolution.​

Steps For Divorce

In order to finalize a divorce, you will need to address issues such as the division of debts and assets, property division, spousal support payments (alimony), child custody, and child support payments. You have an opportunity to work directly with your spouse through mediation. In mediation, you and your spouse will work with a neutral third party to get through each of these subjects.

If you are unable to reach an agreement, your next option may be to leave these issues up to the courts to decide. Many people do not like this option, as it takes the power away from them and allows a judge to decide what happens in their personal lives.

Divorce and Annulments

The difference between a divorce and an annulment is that an annulment makes it so that the marriage never happened in the first place. They can both be intensely emotional events because they involve two people who know each other very well splitting up from each other. Some divorces can be civil and amicable, but many others involve a lot of hatred and hostility as each party airs their grievances and frustrations with each other whenever they get the chance. It can get even worse if children are involved.

Lawyers can serve as middlemen and go-betweens for each party as they negotiate the terms of their divorce. Even with the aid of experienced divorce attorneys, a divorce can be unpredictable and when it is fair and equitable to both parties, at least one of the parties will be unsatisfied with the outcome. This can often be because of the grounds for divorce, which are the legal reasons for divorce and they can be fault or no-fault. A fault divorce is when one of the spouses did something that caused the divorce, such as abuse or adultery. No-fault divorce is when couples drift apart due to irreconcilable differences or the breakdown of the marriage.

Some of the issues that need to be worked out during a divorce include the following:

Division of Property

When a couple gets divorced, the courts will divide all of the marital assets acquired during the marriage. Separate property is the property that each person owned before the marriage or was given specifically to them during the marriage, so they are allowed to keep it once the marriage ends. Marital property refers to the assets acquired by the couple during their marriage and can be separated into a real property like the house, vehicles, or jewelry, and intangible property like income and dividends.

The way the property is divided depends on whether the couple lives in a state that follows equitable distribution or community property. Equitable distribution means that the property is divided between the couple based on the facts of the case. Community property states attempt to divide the property on a 50-50 basis. Most states, including West Virginia, use equitable distribution, meaning that the judge will divide property based on what they feel is fair based on the circumstances of the case.

Alimony

Also called spousal support, this allows the spouse who is the lower earner or who was unemployed during the marriage to maintain their lifestyle until they can earn a steady income. The amount, frequency, and duration of spousal support depending on various factors such as the length of the marriage, the physical and emotional health of each spouse, and the ability of the spouse to pay the required amount. A judge will take all of these factors into consideration, as well as a few others when deciding on the alimony payments.

Child Custody

This is technically also part of many divorce proceedings, but it is a big enough legal issue that it deserves to be treated separately. This can be an emotional issue for both the parents and the children involved, but the courts will always make the best interests of the children their top priority. That means the courts will usually try to appoint joint custody since it is usually good for the child to have a strong relationship with both of their parents. The exception is if a parent is abusive or derelict in their parenting duties.

In some cases, a parent will get sole custody of their child, in which case the courts will have to work out a visitation schedule for the non-custodial parent. Child support is also an important issue in child custody cases because parents are legally obligated to support their children. The amount of support that a non-custodial parent must provide for their child depends on a variety of factors but each state has a child support worksheet to help simplify the decision. Factors that are taken into account include the income of the parents, the education needs of the child, health insurance for the child, and more.

The penalty for not paying child support payments can be severe, but parents that have trouble paying can try to modify the child support arrangement. In fact, modification of existing child custody and child support arrangements are a big part of family law since the circumstances of the divorced couple and their children are always changing. If an arrangement needs to be modified, then the party requesting the modification should contact an attorney before taking their case to the courts.

Contact Us Today

Our work in the West Virginia family courts will be a tremendous asset to you as you try to make sense of this next chapter of your life. We will be able to help you navigate this process with as little stress as possible, and help you understand each of the steps you will need to take in order to successfully complete your divorce. We understand that this is a complicated time for you, and will do all that we can to help you towards a positive outcome as our client.

Scott Elswick, Esq.

Call Now (304) 314-4775
To Schedule A Personalized Consultation!