West Virginia Spousal Support (Alimony) Attorneys
We can explain your rights and options as you navigate your post-divorce finances
Divorce often means one spouse is losing the financial support a working spouse provided, and in some circumstances, this results in spousal support (alimony) payments. Whether you want to seek alimony or are being asked to pay alimony, it’s important to know your rights and understand how the system works.
The experienced family law attorneys at Klie Law Offices have worked with many West Virginia families in complex divorce and separation cases. We know the rules that apply to spousal support in West Virginia and how to make sure your rights – and your future – are protected. Contact us today.
The types of spousal support available in West Virginia
West Virginia law allows for spousal support in both divorce and legal separation (separate maintenance) cases. There are four types of spousal support:
Temporary spousal support is paid while the divorce or separation is pending to help one spouse adjust to living on a single income. This ends when the divorce or separation is finalized.
Rehabilitative spousal support is the most common type of spousal support in West Virginia. Rehabilitative support is intended to help a formerly dependent spouse to become financially independent. For instance, if one spouse stayed at home with the kids for several years, they may need time to improve their job skills and re-enter the job market. The court awards rehabilitative support for a limited period to give them breathing room to seek employment.
Permanent spousal support is awarded in cases where a dependent spouse is unable to become financially independent because of circumstances out of their control. For instance, permanent support is often awarded when one spouse is disabled and unable to work.
Spousal support in gross is a set amount ordered by the court to compensate one spouse for financial sacrifices they made during the marriage. This may be paid in a lump sum or installments; the important thing is that there is a fixed dollar figure that must be paid to satisfy the order.
Note that spousal support is only available if you are living separately and apart from each other. If you still live together, you can’t get spousal support, even after the divorce is finalized.
What factors affect spousal support in West Virginia?
Although alimony in popular culture is usually paid by an ex-husband to an ex-wife, gender is not a factor in actual spousal support awards in West Virginia. The courts consider 20 factors that are set by statute, some of which include:
- How long you were married – the longer the marriage, the more likely that the court will award spousal support.
- Each spouse’s income and overall financial situation. The bigger the difference in income, the more likely spousal support will be ordered to even out that difference.
- Your and your spouse’s age and health.
- Your and your spouse’s education level and ability to earn income.
- The standard of living you maintained during the marriage.
- Which spouse was the primary custodian of the children during the marriage.
Unlike child support, there is no specific formula to determine spousal support. It’s all up to the discretion of the family court. Also unlike child support, family courts can consider misconduct during the marriage (such as infidelity) when determining spousal support.
In addition, if you have a valid prenuptial or postnuptial agreement that contains a stipulation for alimony, that agreement will normally be honored unless the court determines otherwise.
Talk to an experienced West Virginia family law attorney about your alimony case
Our attorneys know how to advocate for our clients in complex spousal support negotiations as part of a divorce. We also know how to handle post-divorce modifications and enforcement of spousal support orders. As with all aspects of divorce, it’s important to think about the big picture. We’ll listen to your story, explain how the law applies to your situation, and advocate for the best possible outcome as you move forward with your life.
Whether you’re currently going through a divorce or need to modify or enforce a spousal support order from a previous divorce, you need an experienced alimony lawyer on your side. Contact us online or give us a call to talk to a member of the legal team at Klie Law Offices in West Virginia.