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.
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.