How To Get a Divorce in West Virginia for Free

divorce with no money in West Viginia

Divorce is often an expensive and emotionally challenging process for both spouses. If you wonder how to reduce at least financial expenses, in this article, you will learn how you can decrease the overall costs and whether it is possible to file a petition without paying court fees.

How to File for Divorce with No Money?

There are several options to reduce your divorce costs:

  • You can file for divorce in West Virginia for free if you prove in court that you are in a financial struggle that does not allow you to pay the court fees for filing divorce documents and delivering them to a respondent.
  • If your divorce process in West Virginia is completely uncontested, you may act on your own without the need to cover costs of legal services, such as hiring lawyers or working with mediators, property evaluators, etc.

According to the divorce law in West Virginia, couples can represent themselves in court pro se. However, please note that it may not be a suitable option when there is much property to divide or the case involves children. Besides, if the divorce is contested, it is wise to seek legal help.

When Can You Proceed Without a Lawyer?

Getting a divorce in West Virginia without a lawyer may be a viable option if:

  • grounds for divorce are no-fault, and spouses do not blame each other for marriage breakup;
  • spouses are cooperative and ready to negotiate any divorce terms if needed;
  • a couple has no minor children or can resolve all issues regarding their custody, support, and visitation on their own;
  • spouses have no joint property, business, or assets or have already agreed on how to divide them.
  • they do not have disagreements regarding alimony.

Though no one can forbid you to do your own divorce, if you and your spouse have any disputes concerning divorce matters, it may be reasonable to turn to the professional help of divorce lawyers. Though expensive, it will likely pay out in the long run.

woman preparing divorce forms without a lawyer
Preparing documents for divorce without a lawyer

How to Waive Court Fees?

To get out of paying court costs, which are currently around $180 in general, you need to contact the court clerk and fill out a fee waiver for divorce. In this form, you will need to indicate information on your income, expenses, debts, etc. The clerk will review the document and consider if you get government benefits, do not earn enough, especially after taxes, have high expenses to cover, etc. If you are eligible, the court fees will be waived.

Where Do I Get Free Divorce Papers in West Virginia?

You can get completely free legal divorce papers by:

  • reaching to West Virginia Legal Aid service, which may send forms free of charge through the mail;
  • using the website of the Supreme Court to search for the required forms.

You may also contact a local county clerk’s office; however, they usually provide divorce forms for a minor free.

information on filing out West Virginia divorce papers
Information for filling out West Virginia divorce papers

Low-Cost Divorce Options in West Virginia

There are several types of divorce in West Virginia that may allow you to reduce overall divorce expenses. You can get a free or cheap marriage dissolution:

  • on your own, preparing the forms independently,
  • with the help of legal aid organizations,
  • turning to an online document preparation service.

1. Do-It-Yourself Divorce

When you file for divorce on your own, it means you don’t involve lawyers, mediators, child experts, etc., in the process and only need to cover the necessary court fees if they cannot be waived. This is the cheapest divorce option if you search for, prepare, and submit the documents to the court yourself.

However, it is necessary to avoid mistakes when filling out the forms since any inaccuracies may cause court rejection and delays in the divorce process due to the need to redo and resubmit the paperwork.

Besides, any incorrect information in forms may lead to potential problems during a court process and even turn the uncontested case into a contested one and increase your expenses.

do-it-yourself divorce procedure in West Virginia
Do-It-Yourself divorce procedure in West Virginia

2. Free Legal Aid Services

To get free divorce forms for cheap marriage dissolution, you can use legal aid for divorce in West Virginia. However, there are several factors to consider about this legal assistance:

  • such services most often help low-income and vulnerable categories of people in difficult life situations, so you may need to show what qualifies you for legal aid.
  • information provided by legal aid organizations is usually generalized, meaning it may not be suitable for complex or unique divorce cases.
  • you will need to figure out which documents, among available ones, are required for your case and how to fill them out properly.

3. Online Divorce Services

If you apply for an uncontested divorce, you can use an online document preparation service. You can receive a full set of ready-to-use divorce forms necessary for your specific case and prepared based only on the information you provide.

To use this tool to get documents for your West Virginia divorce, you need to:

  • Complete a comprehensive online questionnaire about your marriage termination case;
  • Pay a moderate fee of around $140;
  • Wait till your documents are ready and download them from your profile, or get them shipped, if needed;
  • Check the filing instructions provided and submit your documents to the court.

The main advantage of this online service is that you don’t have to search for and complete the documents on your own or pay for a lawyer’s help with paperwork, which is usually quite expensive. It minimizes the risk of making mistakes in documents and saves you time and money.

start west virginia divorce

The Bottom Line

You can get a cheap divorce in West Virginia in several ways.

  • You can prepare the documents yourself and submit them to the court, paying the mandatory fees only. You should decide which papers are required in your case and contact the Legal Aid website or county clerk’s office to get them for free or for a small cost.
  • Another cheap solution for preparing the divorce forms is an online service, which will provide you with all the paperwork required to file an uncontested divorce.