Can You Change Your Court Documents After Filing?

Hello, everyone. It’s Chris Pritt back again with a new topic in West Virginia divorce. Today we’re going to be talking about modifying pleadings or what we call amending pleadings.

Let’s say that you file your petition for divorce and you site your grounds as irreconcilable differences. Then let’s say later on you decide that you want to file on additional grounds. What you can do is amend the pleadings. Now the process is a little bit different based on the timing of it. If it’s within a relatively short period and the other person has not responded, then you can do it without leave of court or what we call without permission from the courts. So, if that’s the case, you don’t even have to get permission from the court. You go and you file what we call amended pleadings. Now, if a certain amount of time has passed, then you have to go and get permission from the court. So that’s one of the things that you can do in many instances if you want to add grounds for divorce or let’s say you want to take one away.

Another example of this would be in addition to irreconcilable differences let’s say you want to file for cruel and inhuman treatment. Also, maybe later on let’s say that you discover that your soon-to-be former spouse has committed adultery. That’s what you would cite in the motion. If you go to get leave of court if you’re not within that specified timeframe and you have to get permission from the court, you file a motion with the court and you ask for permission from the court to amend your pleadings. That’s the process that you do.

So after you go and you amend your pleadings at that point, what happens is the court is going to decide on that. I can tell you as a practice, most of the time, the courts will allow you to amend your pleadings. In many instances, the other side will not dispute it because they’re not admitting to anything by allowing you to amend the pleadings. It’s just they’re not disputing the fact that you have good grounds for amending the pleadings. The court will sometimes do this and require a hearing. I’ve also seen situations where you just file the motion with the court and the court makes a decision and you get an order in the mail that grants you permission to change up your pleadings or amended them as we say.

So, that’s just one of the things that you might want to do from time to time. It doesn’t come up that often. One instance where it does come up sometimes is when people are in a real hurry to file their divorce petition and they’re not thinking through all of the different grounds. That’s kind of a situation where I see it a little bit more.

So that consists of today’s topic. If you have any questions feel free to give us a call at (304) 720 4412 or email me at CTA (1).png