The Basics of Alimony in West Virginia
In many cases, a divorce can bring out a few ‘unfair’ consequences on either spouse, which is why it’s important to consider every possible remedy to make the process as fair as possible – such as fair and equitable property distribution methods, child support, suitable child custody stipulations, and then of course, something requiring specific evidence and deliberation….
It’s Called ‘Alimony’
What is alimony? Specifically in the state of West Virginia, alimony in West Virginia – as in all of the other states – may differ in many ways, like terminology, requirements, and types. But the basic definition of alimony is this:
1. It’s spousal support where one spouse makes financial payments to the other spouse for the purpose of income readjustment and financial need.
In other words, it’s like child support, only not for any relevant children in question; rather, it’s directly related to the needs of the other spouse in the event that the divorce presents unfair financial consequences.
Many states stipulate several kinds of alimony, too – either two possible types, or even as much as four.
Reasons for Alimony in West Virginia
But in regard to alimony in West Virginia, there’s only one basic kind defined by the above definition. Any other issues are simply decided in court as to the reason for the alimony, which can be any of these –
4. Loss of a Job
5. Loss of Income Due to Divorce
7. And Any Other Suitable Reason as Deemed Sufficient by the Court
In addition, there are specific requirements necessary for a court to consider awarding alimony in West Virginia to any spouse seeking it:
1. The Length of Marriage
2. Length of Cohabitation
3. Employment and Income for Both Spouses
4. Education and Skills of Each Spouse
5. Education History of Each Spouse
6. Property Distribution Outcome
7. Age of Both Spouses
8. Physical and Mental Health
9. Emotional Conditions for Each Spouse
10. Standard of Living During the Marriage
11. Possibility of Increasing Income Due to Education
12. Contributions to Education, Training, or Earning Potential From One Spouse to the Other
13. Educational Costs Toward Children
14. Health Care Costs
15. Tax Issues
16. Living Situation in Regards to Employment (ex: child custody, stay-at-home parent)
17. Financial Needs of Each Spouse
18. Any Relevant Legal Responsibilities
19. Mental/Physical Disability Costs
20. And Any Other Factors the Court May Address
It’s important to know that just one factor out of all of these may be enough to present reasonable proof that a party deserves alimony in West Virginia. It will decide not only the need for alimony, but the amount of alimony necessary.
Other stipulations may include the type of payment – installments, monthly payments, quarterly, yearly, lump-sum – and whether or not payments will be indefinite or temporary.
Unlike child support, there are no enforcement orders such as wage garnishment or tax garnishment for alimony. However, any spouse with an official order for alimony to be received can petition the court for a contempt charge on the other party.