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Does Infidelity Affect Divorce in West Virginia?

In the state of West Virginia, adultery is defined as voluntary sexual intercourse of a married person with someone other than their spouse.

The West Virginia statutes describe the state as a "hybrid state". This means that divorce can be granted on both "fault" and "no-fault" fronts. The latter means simply stating that you want aa divorce from your spouse because the two of you are in a broken marriage is enough grounds for getting a divorce. The courts will not ask further questions. On the other hand, "fault" divorces allow you to fully state why you want a divorce, and why you feel like your spouse is responsible for your marriage breaking down. "Fault" divorces are caused due to the following reasons:

  • You and your spouse are still married but are living separately.
  • The inhumane treatment meted out to you, which may or may not include physical abuse.
  • The spouse being incarcerated for a number of years.
  • Clinical insanity.
  • Degenerate habits such as drinking or addiction to drugs.
  • Your spouse being neglectful towards you and your children if any.
Does Infidelity Affect Divorce in West Virginia?


West Virginia uses the term "spousal support" to describe alimony. This is the payment of one spouse to another so that they have the same levels of income and lifestyle even after the marriage gets over. Courts can order alimony to be paid in a lump sum, or over the course of several months.

Adultery is a very important factor when it comes to paying alimony, according to the laws of West Virginia. If the cheating spouse is supposed to pay alimony, then their amount and duration of pay can be extended, as reparation of the emotional damage that their spouse incurred. Moreover, courts can completely deny alimony payments if the receiving spouse was the adulterer.

Kinds of Alimony

There are four kinds of alimony that courts award in divorce proceedings. These differ according to various factors including whether your spouse was involved with one or more partners, the duration of the infidelity, the emotional impact it had on you and your children, and the income status of you and your partner. The different kinds of alimony include:

Permanent Alimony: This is usually granted in the most severe cases. The cheater will have to pay their spouse alimony without expecting an end date, till either spouse dies or the injured spouse gets married.

Temporary Alimony: Awarded to the injured spouse so that they can financially recover from the divorce proceeding. It is granted as compensation, acknowledging that the spouse did nothing to deserve the mental anguish.

Rehabilitative Alimony: Geared towards helping the injured spouse get financially independent, including paying for their studies or job training.

Alimony in Gross: The spouse gives all the money to the injured spouse in a lump sum.

Infidelity and Divorce

Denying Divorce

The state of West Virginia has provided courts the right to deny "fault" divorce based on adultery in the following situations:

  • The couple lived together even after knowing about the infidelity.
  • There is no proof of the affair ever taking place, except for a statement by a family member or friend.
  • The act of infidelity was committed three years or more before the divorce proceedings were filed. However,
  • courts may take a second look into the matter if you did not know about the affair in all this time, and filed for divorce as soon as the matter came to light. However, you will have to prove that you did not know about it.
  • The spouse filing a divorce based on adultery also committed infidelity.
  •  The adultery was accepted by your spouse and forgiven as a mistake.

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