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Strange situations can complicate alimony

May 29, 2019 | Firm News, Spousal Support

Spousal support is an important part of securing financial stability after a divorce. However, in a great many cases, spousal support — also called alimony — is not indefinite. There are often time limits on how long a person may receive support, and their actions may even mean that support could end early. For West Virginia residents currently receiving support, getting married often means that they no longer qualify to receive support from their ex-spouse.

An out-of-state woman may have found a way around this problem. After 29 years of marriage, she and her husband divorced back in 2014. Her ex-husband was ordered to pay $10,000 per month as alimony for a period of 10 years. If she remarries before the 10 years is up, her ex can stop paying spousal support. About a year or so after finalizing the divorce, the woman had a wedding ceremony with another man and told others that she was married; as a result, her ex stopped paying.

The problem? Despite holding a wedding ceremony, she never obtained a marriage license. As such, she was never legally married to her new “spouse.” A judge initially agreed that her ex-husband could stop paying the monthly support. The decision was appealed in 2017 and only recently ruled on. Since she is not technically married, her ex still has to pay alimony.

Dealing with these types of situations is often extremely confusing and frustrating for the individuals who are currently paying alimony. People in West Virginia might be understandably lost on where to even begin with addressing their concerns. A good place to start is usually petitioning a judge for a review or modification of a current support order.