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We Handle Complex Alimony Cases

Work with Recht Law Offices to resolve your spousal support case

In West Virginia, the courts may order one divorcing spouse to provide financial support - officially called "spousal support" and also commonly known as alimony - to the other. In principle, a spousal support award should be a reasonable amount based on the paying spouse's income and the receiving spouse's needs.

However, changing circumstances can make spousal support awards complicated. Your income may have changed, and the factors surrounding your divorce may affect the award. You may be left paying more than you can afford, or receiving less than you need. That's why you need an alimony lawyer on your side.

With our help, you can navigate all of those issues. Attorneys Elisa Recht Marlin and Steven M. Recht have extensive experience handling divorce and spousal support cases. Our family has been serving West Virginia families since 1952, and we'll be happy to help find the best solution for yours.

Types of Spousal Support in West Virginia

West Virginia courts award four types of spousal support:

  1. Temporary spousal support consists of payments made during the divorce process itself. A spouse who cares for the couple's children, for example, may require some monetary aid from the employed spouse to pay for necessities for the children prior to the divorce being finalized.
  2. Permanent spousal support is, as the name implies, a long-term series of payments that last for as long as needed for the recipient spouse to be able to self-support. Often, permanent support lasts for the recipient's lifetime. However, even a permanent support order can be changed by remarriage, death, or a new court order.
  3. Rehabilitative spousal support is a time-limited payment intended to help one spouse get back to work. The idea is to help spouses who were not employed and depended solely on the other spouse's income to become self-supporting. Rehabilitative support must go toward training or study for a reasonably attainable employment goal.
  4. Spousal support in gross is a fixed dollar amount to be paid over a set period of time. A court could, for instance, order one spouse to pay $10,000 to the other over the course of three years. The court could also order that the whole payment be made in a lump sum.

The type of support determines how the spousal support interacts with remarriage. If the recipient spouse remarries, temporary and permanent alimony no longer need to be paid. Rehabilitative support continues through the first four years of the rehabilitative period. Spousal support in gross must be paid in full even if the recipient spouse remarries.

Death also terminates both permanent and temporary spousal support. Rehabilitative support ends when the recipient spouse dies, but in most cases, if the paying spouse dies, his or her estate must continue to make the rehabilitative payments. Spousal support in gross continues beyond either spouse's death, with the estate of the deceased spouse either paying or receiving payments as per the original order.

Because spousal support cases can be so complex with many factors determining the award, you need an experienced family law attorney on your side. That's where we come in. We can help you during your divorce proceedings to reach a spousal support award that meets your needs, or work with you to go to court and have an existing award adjusted.

Remember, time is of the essence when it comes to spousal support - the courts won't modify your award retroactively. Contact us today. Call 1-800-487-8546.