Navigate:

West Virginia Property Division Factors

In West Virginia, the property and debt issues are typically settled between the parties by a signed Marital Settlement Agreement or the property award is actually order and decreed by the Circuit Court within the Decree of Divorce.

West Virginia is referred to as an "equitable distribution" state. When the parties are unable to reach a settlement, the Circuit Court will take the following approach to dividing the assets; First, it will go through a discovery process to classify which property and debt is to be considered marital. Next, it will assign a monetary value on the marital property and debt. Last, it will distribute the marital assets between the two parties in an equitable fashion. Equitable does not mean equal, but rather what is deemed by the Circuit Court to be fair.

Marital property of the parties shall be divided equitably between the parties after a consideration of the following: (A) The extent to which each party has contributed to the acquisition, preservation and maintenance, or increase in value of marital property by monetary contributions; (B) The extent to which each party has contributed to the acquisition, preservation and maintenance or increase in value of marital property by nonmonetary contributions; (C) The extent to which each party expended his or her efforts during the marriage in a manner which limited or decreased such party’s income-earning ability or increased the income-earning ability of the other party; (D) The extent to which each party, during the marriage, may have conducted himself or herself so as to dissipate or depreciate the value of the marital property of the parties.

An award may be ordered of the exclusive use and occupancy of the marital home to a party. An order granting use and occupancy of the marital home shall include the use of any necessary household goods, furniture and furnishings. The order shall establish a definite period for the use and occupancy, ending at a specific time set forth in the order, subject to modification upon the petition of either party.

Marital misconduct shall not be considered by the court in determining the proper distribution of marital property. (West Virginia Code - Sections: 48-5-604, 48-5-612, 48-7-101)