There are six basic types of fault based grounds for divorce in West Virginia. Some are more common than others. I’m going to go down from the most common to the least common types of fault based grounds for divorce. You can allege both the fault based grounds and a non-fault based grounds for divorce in West Virginia. Your non-fault grounds for divorce are irreconcilable differences and separate and apart for a year.
Now, the most common types of fault based grounds for divorce is cruel and inhuman treatment. That means that if there’s some cruelty going on in the relationship and you meet the statutory definition of cruel and inhuman treatment and it’s on a significant level, it’s persistent, that sort of thing, then you might have a reason for that as a fault based grounds for divorce.
The other type of grounds for divorce could be adultery. Now it’s really tricky with adultery because a lot of times when people were going through a divorce, they sometimes have reconciled and they’ve gotten back together. What that means is if somebody commits an act with a person outside of the marriage, then that can be grounds for adultery. Now the tricky part is, in the event that the people reconcile, that is a legal defense to being able to raise adultery in the marriage. If you do what we call the marital act after somebody has been placed on notice about the adultery, then that gets rid of it as a claim. That’s one thing that you will also always have to take into account.
The two major ones are cruel and inhuman treatment and adultery. Those are the ones that I see over and over again in divorce cases. Now the next four we are going to discuss are somewhat less frequent, but I have seen them from time to time.
One fault based grounds is being a habitual user of alcohol or narcotics. If you’re a habitual drug user or you’re getting drunk all the time, then the spouse could potentially go after you for that in a divorce. The next type is abandonment. This is another grounds for divorce, but it has to be for a period of longer than six months.
Another basic type of fault based grounds for divorce is if the person is committing a felony while married. That’s another grounds for a fault based divorce as well. One I will mention, but I don’t know if I’ve ever seen this actually used as a grounds for divorce, but I am speaking about permanent and incurable insanity.
Those we discussed Today are the six fault based grounds for divorce in West Virginia. Some are more common than others. You may want to decide if want to raise these grounds for divorce in court or not. It’s sort of a catchall at the end and sometimes these grounds can be used as a reason for somebody being awarded for example, alimony. That’s really the only way that it’s going to be a factor. It’s not supposed to be a factor when it comes to property division though it could be in a way if it goes to the credibility of person. Hopefully you’re more informed on the basic types of grounds for divorce in West Virginia.