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5 Things to Know About Property Division

Splitting Assets and Paying Debts in a West Virginia Divorce

If you and your spouse have decided to seek a divorce in West Virginia, there are property and financial assets/debts that you need to consider before heading into court. West Virginia is an equitable distribution state.  Equitable distribution does not necessarily mean assets will be divided exactly equally among both spouses. 

List Your Assets and Debts

If the property was acquired before your marriage, the court generally sees this as separate property and does not need to be split among both spouses. Property acquired throughout the marriage such as a family home, jewelry, income, benefits, vehicles, and even debts on credit cards, loans, and childcare are subject to division by the family court.  

Obtain Documentation

One way you can be prepared for your divorce proceedings is to gather as much documentation of your property and debts as possible. Such documentation could include purchase invoices, your annual income and benefits, 401k statements and other retirement account statements, any credit card or loan statements, vehicle forms, and more. Such documentation will also help you if you choose to seek spousal support. West Virginia law requires the court to compare the fault of each spouse when determining alimony, so ensure that you provide enough proof of any grievances against your spouse that have led you to this point. 

Request Spousal Support

If you were the person to file for the divorce, you can request spousal support in your divorce petition. If you happened to be the spouse who received divorce papers, you can still request spousal support in your answer to the divorce documents. There are specific requirements in West Virginia in order for you to receive alimony. These factors include the length that you and your spouse were married, the income of each spouse, and your future ability to earn an income. A judge will decide whether to approve or deny spousal support since all alimony cases are unique. There are multiple types of spousal support as well; permanent, temporary, rehabilitation, and gross. Again, the judge will determine what he/she feels is best for your situation.

Determine What You Want

To determine what the equal division of marital property should be, the court looks at monetary and non-monetary contributions in your marriage. These can be discussed in your pre-divorce meetings, which allow you and your spouse to sort out the value of the combined marital property. For example, should you sell your home and split the profits, or will one spouse keep the home and take over the payments? Will the debts be split between you both until they are paid off, or will you pay the car loans while your spouse covers the credit card payments that are leftover? Of course, other factors go into splitting marital property, so make sure to consult your West Virginia divorce lawyer before agreeing to anything. You want to be prepared before you go to court, so discuss what you want with your divorce attorney ahead of time. 

Contact Bradford Law Offices

Are you ready to get your property division in order? Contact Bradford Law Offices, PLLC. Tim Bradford is an experienced divorce attorney in Charleston, West Virginia who has practiced divorce law for years. Tim will help you to obtain the assets you need and the agreements that must be reached. Give Bradford Law Offices, PLLC a call today

Co-Parenting During the Summer in West Virginia

How to Successfully Handle Co-Parenting After a Divorce

Summer break in West Virginia can be a challenge for any parent, but it is especially challenging for divorced parents due to scheduling conflicts with an ex-spouse or partner. The warmer months involve weeks of trying to entertain the kids and arrange childcare while you work, all while trying to coordinate with an ex-spouse’s schedule.

If you aren’t careful, co-parenting can be exhausting, but co-parenting in the Summer can become a competition on who the children see more, who they get to take a vacation with, and so much more. Given that you’ve probably already been through the family court during your divorce, you’ll want to do what you can to work through this season.

Though you most likely already have your Summer co-parenting schedule that was set by the court, it is a good reminder to talk it over with your ex-spouse to ensure that it will be followed correctly. If you are in the process of getting a divorce, be sure to talk with your child custody lawyer about your wishes for the Summer, and the rest of the year for that matter, so it can be settled while in court.

Plan Well in Advance

Planning ahead of the Summer break should be your number one priority when it comes to co-parenting throughout these months. During that planning stage, talk about things like vacations abroad, as well as simple issues, like days out and who will pay for them. That way, each parent knows exactly what’s going to happen and when and offers assurance that there won’t be any surprise trips away from home or sudden expenses that one party will have to cover. This is the kind of thing that a child custody attorney could talk you through and help you settle in court during your divorce hearing.

Discuss Childcare

Obviously, there are going to be times when you need to arrange childcare. Arguments will arise if you do not abide by the arrangments that were set during your divorce hearing. This helps to prevent the issue of one parent feeling put out if they find that the other parent has been using childcare services that were not agreed upon. To avoid this, plan childcare options together, especially if this was your court agreement, such as a particular baby sitter, or family member.

Show a United Front

Though you may not be married anymore, your ex-spouse will be in your life if he/she is the other parent to your children. That’s why it is necessary to agree on the rules and show a united front when it comes to parenting your children. Make sure you both know what the Summer bedtime schedule looks like, if your kids are allowed to be out alone, or if you have a child who is grounded at one house, to be grounded at the other to show unity.

While Summer is more relaxed than term time, arguments are inevitable if one parent lets the kids get away with more than the other parent allows. Even worse, this can cause your children to play you off against one another. That’s a spiral no co-parent wants to deal with.

Still Can’t Agree? Get a Third Party Involved

Sometimes, you can put the above pointers into place and still stumble into trouble. In that instance, contacting a West Virginia family law attorney is often the best way forward. With a child custody attorney behind you, you can develop plans without having to talk with your ex-partner at all, if need be, or lay the legal groundwork to ensure you both stick to the plan in place. If you’re in the process of getting a divorce, or if you are having child custody issues, don’t hesitate to contact Bradford Law Offices, PLLC for all your child custody and family law needs.

Family Law in a Divorce Proceeding

Fighting for Your Children in Child Custody Battles

Are you in need of a West Virginia divorce lawyer? We know how important it is to make the right decision when it comes to your family’s future. It is particularly crucial if children are involved because you need to think about the emotional well-being of the child at all times. Divorce can be incredibly stressful for children, especially if there is a question of child custody.

Why You Need A Family Law Attorney

The first factor to be aware of is that the law is not designed to be understood by a layperson. Indeed, studying law is like studying a whole other language. You need to hire an expert with a deep understanding of divorce law and the aspects that are involved. They will inform you of your rights and provide all the information that you need.

Divorce lawyers can deliver emotional support to you and anyone else that may be involved. The right lawyer can aid you in explaining to your child what is occurring during a divorce process, and guide you on how to proceed after the divorce is finalized. Furthermore, while you may be emotional, a lawyer will keep a clear mind and make the best decisions on your behalf.

Traits To Look For In A Divorce Lawyer

If you are looking for a divorce attorney in Charleston, West Virginia, you need to make sure you choose someone caring and compassionate. A divorce lawyer needs to see more than the numbers and truly understand what you are going through on an emotional level.

If children are involved, a divorce lawyer must have experience in this area. They need to know how a divorce can impact a child and provide coping mechanisms that you can put into place to get them through this difficult situation.

Your divorce lawyer should have fantastic success rates and be ready to fight for everything you need throughout this proceeding. They should be a strong negotiator and always be able to fight for your corner.  Divorce proceedings will always involve extensive levels of paperwork, so you want a divorce lawyer that can guide you through what you need to sign or check and be able to handle the rest for you.

Lastly, you need to be sure that they can match your budget requirements. Divorce proceedings can be expensive and some lawyers charge incredibly high rates. Make sure that you are prepared for the costs and that your lawyer is ready to provide a fantastic service at a great value.

Cut Through The Confusion of Child Custody Battles

There can be a lot of questions and confusion around a divorce proceeding. It’s an incredibly stressful time for everyone involved, so it’s important to discover ways to make the process easier, which can be eased by choosing the right divorce lawyer for you.

At Bradford Law Offices, PLLC, we can provide the advice you need and ensure that the emotional requirements of you and your children are completely taken care of throughout the divorce process. Whether or not your case involves child custody, we will be with you every step of the way. You will have a shoulder to lean on, someone to talk to, and skilled professionals fighting for your rights, your needs, and your kids.

Child Custody: When a Parent Abuses Drugs

Child Custody in W.Va. When a Parent Abuses Drugs

It wasn’t long ago that the epidemic of prescription drugs and heroin would have been unthinkable in West Virginia. Unfortunately, more and more parents and even grandparents face child custody cases that involve a drug-abusing parent. The best interest of the minor child should always be the focus of West Virginia Family Courts. The Family Court may order random drug screens and appoint a guardian ad litem in such cases. The Family Court can take measures such as ordering supervised visitation and drug abuse therapy. The goal of the Family Court always is to protect the child in cases when a parent abuses drugs.

Spousal Support and Fault in West Virginia

Adultery is often the primary cause for divorce. A common question is whether or not a person who commits adultery in West Virginia can receive alimony or spousal support from their spouse. The answer is that it is legally possible. West Virginia law requires family court judges to compare the fault of each party when determining the amount, if any, of spousal support to be granted. There could be circumstances, under West Virginia law, where someone who commits adultery can and will receive spousal support. Never assume that a spouse will not receive spousal support if they have committed adultery. That being said, when a West Virginia court weights fault, adultery will almost definitely be considered. The court also must consider statutory factors listed in W.Va. Code § 48-6-301 when determining the amount of spousal support.


(Disclaimer – this is for educational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Every family court case presents different issues for consideration. Consult a lawyer for legal advice.)