A Short Introduction to West Virginia Alimony Calculators
What is a West Virginia alimony calculator?
Alimony calculators are used by plugging in a few variables related to income and marriage to estimate an eventual alimony award. They work best in states that use a fixed formula to decide spousal support. Unfortunately, unlike child support, spousal support in states like West Virginia is not decided using an equation, so alimony calculators in West Virginia are rare. However, a resourceful individual can do a good job imitating the effects of an alimony calculator for West Virginia with a little knowledge of state law.
How do I get started?
If you wish to simulate a West Virginia alimony calculator, the first thing you need to do is get a very rough estimate that can be later refined. In such situations, a general alimony calculator can be useful. It’s not tailored after West Virginia law, but it will give you a good idea of what alimony amount your lawyers will request. Just follow these four simple steps:
1. Estimate your joint married cost of living by adding up all the costs associated with your marriage over the course of a year. Don’t count any purchases associated with a minor child or other relative; costs should come just from the couple. Remember, the cost has to be “joint,” so work backward from the last time that you lived together as a couple.
2. Find your individual married cost of living by dividing by 2 the joint cost found above. This number represents the approximate cost of living for one individual to live according to the standard established during the marriage.
3. Subtract the income of the spouse requesting alimony from the individual married cost of living. We want to find out how much money will be needed to supplement their income in order for them to live to the standard established during the marriage. This is the rough estimate for the amount of annual alimony that will be requested.
4. If you’d like to see the monthly payments, just divide the estimate from Step #3 by 12.
How do I refine my West Virginia alimony calculator?
To make the result of the above alimony calculator closer to the amount of alimony a judge will eventually award, you have to think like a judge and consider the factors they are likely to take into consideration for their alimony award. Ask yourself if these elements seem likely to lower the alimony award or raise it:
• Fault grounds for divorce, which are actually the only factor for alimony explicitly stated as such in the West Virginia state code. You can read it here: https://statutes.laws.com/west-virginia/48/48-8-104.
• How long the marriage lasted, as marriages under 5 years rarely result in alimony.
• Whether the higher-income spouse can meet their own needs while providing alimony.
• If one spouse cannot find appropriate employment because of age, disability, or guardianship requirements.
• Whether additional education is needed for one spouse to find appropriate employment.