West Virginia Alimony/Spousal Support Lawyers

    When you and your spouse got married, your financial goals and plans became interwoven. Many couples completely blend their finances, tackling debt, savings goals, and monthly bills together. It’s no surprise that money is a sticking point for many during a divorce. When your finances and assets are completely intermingled, trying to sort out who gets what can be a challenge.

    This is even more applicable when there’s a huge earning disparity between spouses. When one spouse earns little to no income, how are they to make ends meet after a divorce? That’s where spousal support may come into play. It provides financial support to a lower-earning spouse after the end of a marriage. If you think you are owed spousal support or you believe you may have to pay spousal support, we’re here to help. Call the Pence Law Firm at 304-345-7250 to set up a consultation with our team of West Virginia alimony lawyers.

    When is Spousal Support Awarded?

    Spousal support is not guaranteed or assumed in any West Virginia divorce. The person owed spousal support must request it. The larger the earning discrepancy is between two spouses, the more likely it is that some sort of alimony will be awarded.

    It’s important to remember the difference between agreeing to spousal support during negotiations and having a judge decide to order spousal support. In general, it’s best to come to an agreement during negotiations rather than leaving it up to a judge to decide. In West Virginia, judges have a lot of leeway when it comes to ordering spousal support and deciding how much to order. You may want to look at the factors that often come into play and use them to help you during negotiations. Relevant factors include:

    • Each party’s income
    • The length of the marriage
    • Each party’s earning capacity
    • How long it would take the lower-earning party to become self-sufficient
    • Standard of living in the marriage
    • Who will be caring for the children after the end of the marriage and how their ability to work may be affected
    • If either party’s behavior contributed to the end of the marriage—this is particularly relevant when infidelity is the reason for the divorce

    You should also consider both parties’ contributions to the marriage, as the judge will definitely take this into account. This doesn’t just include the higher-earning party’s financial contributions. It also includes things like raising children, taking care of the home, and giving up career or educational opportunities to support a spouse’s career goals.

    Types of Spousal Support in West Virginia

    There are different types of spousal support that may be relevant in your West Virginia divorce. Temporary spousal support is only meant to last for a short time or until specific requirements are met. Rehabilitative support is designed to last long enough to help a lower-earning spouse become self-supporting. Permanent support is relatively rare and is usually only awarded in divorce cases involving very long marriages. Even permanent support ends if the recipient remarries, though. Finally, gross support happens when the parties agree on a sum to be paid. It is either paid all at once or spread out across multiple payments.

    Challenges Posed by Spousal Support Claims

    There are a number of challenges that may arise when spousal support is a factor in your divorce. That’s why it’s important to work with an attorney with extensive experience in cases similar to yours—decisions made regarding alimony can truly affect your financial stability and well-being for years or decades to come.

    To start, there is no set formula used to calculate spousal support in West Virginia. States that do have a clear-cut formula take out a lot of the guesswork and cut down on disputes. With no clear formula, divorcing couples have no starting point for negotiations.

    Similarly, there is a lot of judicial discretion when it comes to spousal support in West Virginia. As a result, much depends on which judge is assigned to your case and how they typically approach spousal support decisions. If you and your spouse are unable to come to an agreement, this puts your financial future in the hands of a judge.

    Spousal support can even be complicated when there is a prenuptial agreement in place. Prenuptial agreements generally make spousal support decisions easier, but if one party contests the prenuptial agreement, your divorce could take much longer. This often happens if a prenuptial agreement bars one party from seeking spousal support and that party claims that they signed the agreement under duress or coercion.

    How the Pence Law Firm Can Help You

    At the Pence Law Firm, we know that the divorce process demands a lot from you. You’re grieving and processing your emotions, but at the same time, you are expected to make decisions that determine how the rest of your life will go. Spousal support can have a huge impact on your financial well-being and quality of life, and you must work with an experienced attorney to plan properly for the next stage of life.

    Our team knows the numerous factors involved in spousal support decisions. We negotiate aggressively to ensure that you are able to start your post-divorce life on the right foot. If you are seeking spousal support, we’ll point out the contributions you made to the marriage and fight for the money you need to provide for yourself. If you are the high-earning partner, we will advocate for a spousal support agreement that leaves you with the money you need to enjoy a high standard of living and benefit from your hard work.

    You’re going through a lot—don’t make big decisions based on emotion. Let our firm help you make the right choices for your future.

    Contact Our Firm Now to Start Your Claim

    At the Pence Law Firm, we strive to help our clients look to the future and get ready for life after divorce. Get started now by setting up a consultation with our team. Just reach out to us online or call us at 304-345-7250.