How to File for Divorce in West Virginia

by Marilyn Lindblad

Knowing how to file for divorce in West Virginia without using a lawyer may save you time and money. Filing for divorce in the Mountain State involves determining where to file, turning in the right paperwork and paying a filing fee. Using a third-party website can also make the process easier and help to ensure your paperwork is in order.

Step 1

Live in West Virginia for at least one year to satisfy the state residency requirement for filing. You can also fulfill the residency requirement if your spouse has lived in West Virginia for at least one year before you file or if you were married there.

Step 2

Obtain the forms you need from the court clerk's office in the county where you intend to file for divorce or an online legal document provider. You'll need a Petition for Divorce, Civil Case Information Statement, Financial Statement, and Vital Statistics Form. Additional forms may be needed if you have children, are seeking spousal support or choose a particular manner of service; the clerk's office can tell you what additional forms you need based on your particular circumstances. State law limits the counties in which you are eligible to file. You can file in the county where you and your spouse last lived together or the county where either you or your spouse lives now.

Step 3

Fill out the forms, following the instructions provided. Information required for the petition includes the grounds for your divorce. Acceptable grounds in West Virginia include irreconcilable differences, voluntary separation, cruel or inhuman treatment, criminal conviction, insanity, drunkenness, drug addiction, desertion, and child abuse or neglect. You must also provide statistical information about yourself, your spouse and your children on the various forms.

Step 4

Make two copies of the completed forms: one for you and one for your spouse, the respondent.

Step 5

File the original forms by delivering them to the court clerk's office and paying the applicable fees. All petitioners must pay a filing fee and a fee for serving the respondent with the divorce papers. If you have a minor child, you must also pay a parent education fee when you file the petition. The state will not refund these fees if you change your mind about getting divorced and dismiss the case.