Divorce changes everything. A romantic relationship is coming to an end, your income and assets are divided, and your relationships with your children will be redefined. At Justin Raber Attorney at Law, in St. Marys, West Virginia, we understand how stressful and emotional divorce can be. Our lawyers are here to guide you through, every step of the way.
The Divorce Process
When you first consider a divorce, the idea can be scary. You probably have questions about the process, such as — what happens before your divorce is final? Will I be able to support myself? Will my children be okay? Our attorneys are adept at addressing these questions and concerns and making sure you understand what will happen as the matter progresses.
Initially, you may be able to reach a temporary agreement or get a temporary order from the court which addresses spousal support, parenting time, child support or attorney fees. If domestic violence is an issue in your marriage, then a protective order may be appropriate and temporary issues may be resolved as part of that proceeding.
In every divorce, there will be a few main issues of contention. Usually these issues include child custody, financial support and property division. Our divorce lawyers assist clients by evaluating their case and developing an approach considering both their circumstances and objectives.
Understanding Property Division
In West Virginia, all marital property — the “marital estate” — is divided based on the principle of equitable distribution. This does not mean assets are divided 50-50, but instead are divided based on what is most fair.
The court begins its analysis assuming an equal division will be made, but can alter that plan based on the following factors:
- Each party’s contribution to the marriage, including income earned, and homemaker and child care services
- Whether one spouse increased the other’s income earning abilities, such as providing support during schooling or training
- Whether one spouse acted in a manner that resulted in a decrease to the marital property
Oftentimes, a divorce involves family-owned businesses and real estate. Our attorneys are skilled in a wide range of legal areas. We have the experience and knowledge to handle every aspect of your divorce, no matter how complex.