When a West Virginia couple decides to dissolve their marriage, alimony, or financial support for the dependent spouse, is often granted by the family law court to reduce or prevent financial difficulty for one spouse while allowing the breadwinning spouse to keep their finances intact. Rehabilitative spousal support is often necessary when one spouse was underemployed or unemployed during the marriage and had the primary responsibility of caring for the children and home.
How do couples reach an alimony agreement?
A prenup or postnup could contain an alimony stipulation. A divorcing couple can also opt to come to an alimony agreement during the divorce settlement. The judge will look through the agreement(s) during your session in a family law court to determine how much alimony is paid to the dependent spouse.
Types of alimony in West Virginia
As a resident of West Virginia, your alimony settlement will be placed in one of four categories: permanent, temporary, rehabilitative, and in gross.
Permanent spousal support is owed to the dependent spouse for the rest of their lives. Temporary alimony goes into effect while the divorce is pending and lasts until the divorce is final.
Rehabilitative spousal support is a short-term payment plan that allows the underemployed spouse time to get a job or pursue an education that would lead to a stable career. Alimony in gross is a specific amount that is paid either in installments or in a lump sum. The in-gross payment is seen as payment for the monetary sacrifices the non-working spouse made while married.
Factors that determine spousal support
In West Virginia, the genders of the parties involved in the divorce are not taken into account. However, the court will consider other factors such as how long the couple was married, the health status and age of both spouses, the earning ability and education of both parties, and the dependent spouse’s role in being the primary caretaker for the children both during and after the marriage.