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Fault-Based Grounds for Divorce


It’s Important to Understand How Divorce Works in West Virginia

Fault-based grounds for divorce in West Virginia can be very complex. These grounds are something you may or may not want to allege in your case for strategic purposes. However, if you believe that you have fault-based grounds for separation, raise it. Do you understand what the basic fault-based grounds for separation are? If not, don’t worry. Bailey Legal Services is here to educate our clients.

There are six basic types of fault-based grounds for divorce in West Virginia. Lawyers can fight these cases with specific defenses. It’s also essential to consider certain factors before asserting a defense to a fault-based separation. Bailey Legal Service will explain this information in this month’s blog.

Learn About the Six Basic Types of Fault-Based Grounds for Divorce

Some of these situations are more common than others. Individuals can allege both non-fault and fault-based grounds for separation in West Virginia. Non-fault cases involve irreconcilable differences and living separate and apart for a year. Here is a list of the six basic types of fault-based grounds for divorce in West Virginia:

Cruel and Inhumane Treatment

People can allege this ground if there is some cruelty in the relationship, and you meet the statutory definition.


This case can be tricky because many times in a separation, couples have reconciled and gotten back together. The tricky part is that couples can use this as a legal defense in the event of reconciliation. Having marital relations after a spouse receives notice about the adultery can terminate the claim.

Habitual Use of Alcohol or Narcotics

If a spouse continuously partakes in drugs and alcohol, the other party could allege that as grounds in a separation.


If the couple agrees on the separation, or if one party goes along with it, they cannot maintain a lawsuit. In order to use abandonment as a cause, it must be for a period longer than six months.

Committing a Felony

If one spouse commits a felonious crime while married, the other partner can use that as grounds for divorce. This situation is less common than the others, but it still happens occasionally.

Permanent and Incurable Insanity

This case is also rarely used because it can be difficult to prove if the accused suffers from incurable insanity. If one spouse is not competent, individuals can ask the court to appoint a guardian.

Take Action to Defend Yourself Against a Fault-Based Divorce

Individuals can defend themselves against a fault-based separation by claiming false allegations or a legal defense. Legal defenses for divorce cases vary from state to state. Here is a list of the most commonly recognized separation defenses:


This can occur when one spouse sets up the other to commit a wrongful act. Connivance is usually only used in divorces on the grounds of adultery.


If one spouse knew of the other’s inappropriate conduct, forgave it, and resumed the marriage, they can use this defense. Condonation defenses usually require proof of knowing about the wrongful acts, dismissing the behavior, and continuing the marriage.


When the complaining spouse is guilty of the same conduct alleged in the petition, they can use recrimination. This defense is typically used when both spouses commit the same inappropriate act.


This defense happens when one spouse provokes the other into committing an illegal act. If your spouse’s abuse caused or led you to leave the marriage, provocation could help.


Spouses may assert collusion where the couple fabricated grounds for obtaining a separation. Some couples who don’t want to wait the requisite time for a no-fault separation may claim abandonment. In this case, the spouses have colluded, and one may have had a change of heart.

Consider the Following Before Asserting a Fault-Divorce Defense

Presenting a defense can yield a better property or support award. However, couples cannot prevent a judge from granting a divorce simply because of this. Courts cannot force spouses to stay married. If a spouse files for separation, the judge will grant that petition if you present a defense or not.

Along with that, asserting a separation case requires evidentiary proof. Evidence often includes witnesses, phone records, medical records, account records, and more. Finding and proving the evidence of your defense will require expert legal advice. Here at Bailey Legal Services, we can help you get what you need.

Bailey Legal Services Helps Clients Navigate Divorce Matters

If you are navigating through the stages of a divorce case, call Bailey Legal Services today. Our law firm brings extensive experience handling separation and divorce matters to the office every single day. We believe that each case is different, unique, and requires personalized attention. Bailey Legal Services will fight for your rights to get what you deserve.

Residents throughout the Mountain State trust Bailey Legal Services for separation, divorce, and more. Attorney Bailey always has his client’s best interest at heart. Since our inception, we have developed a solid reputation amongst our clients as a trusted law firm in West Virginia. Reach out to us today to learn more about our divorce services.

For more on filing or defending a divorce lawsuit, call us today at (304)-736-0801. You can also reach Bailey Legal Services by email and see our full list of services on our contact page. Like us on Facebook to stay up-to-date with Attorney Bailey’s latest news and information. We are happy to educate our clients in West Virginia on grounds for divorce.