One of the more notable kinds of cases that could have an impact on having a divorce finalized in terms of all of the issues is bankruptcy. If one of the people involved in the divorce has filed for bankruptcy, then under federal law that is going to put a stay on the divorce. This means a halt on certain aspects of the divorce case could appear. Especially property the married couple own. Property is going to be put on hold while the bankruptcy case is going on. Once the bankruptcy case is completed, then the remaining issues are going to go back to family court. At that time, the court may or may not be able to address certain property issues depending on the other case going on.
A second category of cases which could impact the West Virginia divorce process is any kind of civil lawsuits. One reason this could affect a divorce case is because civil lawsuits sometimes can go on for years and years. One example would be if one spouse was in a car wreck and as a result of that car wreck they file a lawsuit and that lawsuit is ongoing, some of the proceeds from the car wreck case settlement or judgment could be subject to equitable distribution among the spouses divorcing. In this example, those issues need to be resolved before the divorce could be finalized. In court the distribution amount is highly based on the circumstances as to what portion of the lawsuit proceeds could be considered to be marital property. Once the civil case is over and the spouses went back to divorce court, at that time the judge would make a call on what portion of the proceeds from the lawsuit or the settlement are going to be considered marital property.
The third category that could slow down the divorce process is an abuse/neglect petition being filed. If an abuse and neglect petition is being filed, that means that child custody matters are going to be shifted from the family court to the circuit court. The family court at that point would be in no way having an impact on parenting. Parenting issues would solely be decided by the circuit court, at least on a temporary basis if abuse/neglect petitions are filed. This may or may not go back to family court, but for the time being, those issues would be handled strictly in the circuit court.
The other category of cases that could have some sort of impact on the divorce process is a domestic violence petition. If a domestic violence petition is filed, then that is going to be addressed by the family court. Initially, it’s addressed by the Magistrate court, but within 10 days, a hearing is set in the family court. Depending on the county, one may or may not have the same judge that hears the divorce case hearing and the domestic violence case. Generally, most counties have the same judge hear both, but it’s not necessarily always going to happen. Overall, if a domestic violence petition has been filed, that could have some sort of impact on the West Virginia divorce case. Especially, if the courts find that domestic violence against one of the people who are involved in the divorce cases exists.