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Divorce/Separation :
Trying to understand Divorce and Alimony


 lumpygravy (original poster member #11877) posted at 12:06 AM on Tuesday, October 19th, 2021

I haven't talked to an attorney yet but I've been doing some research here.

Let me get this straight. I live in West Virginia, and adultery can only be used as a basis for divorce proceedings if it was within three years of filing, and adultery is defined as sexual intercourse:

§48-5-301. When a divorce not to be granted.
No divorce for adultery shall be granted on the uncorroborated testimony of a prostitute, or a particeps criminis, or when it appears that the parties voluntarily cohabited after the knowledge of the adultery, or that it occurred more than three years before the institution of the action; nor shall a divorce be granted for any cause when it appears that the offense charged has been condoned, or was committed by the procurement or connivance of the plaintiff, or that the plaintiff has, within three years before the institution of action, been guilty of adultery not condoned, but such exception shall not be applicable to causes of action brought pursuant to sections 5-201 and 5-202 of this chapter. The defense of collusion shall not be pleaded as a bar to a divorce.


§48-5-204. Grounds for divorce; adultery.
A divorce may be ordered for adultery. Adultery is the voluntary sexual intercourse of a married man or woman with a person other than the offender's wife or husband. The burden is on the party seeking the divorce to prove the alleged adultery by clear and convincing evidence.

Basically since the last affair was 5 years ago, I cannot use any infidelity as a basis of a divorce? Also since WV defines adultery as sexual intercourse - I can't use an of the EA/PA's as a basis. Furthermore, since I don't have physical proof of the first two, but copies of texts of the third affair, I might not even be able to submit this as reason for divorce anyway, therefore I'm looking at an irreconcilable differences divorce.

Since we have been married for 25 years it would be likely that I would be responsible for alimony for the rest of her life. Our income is so lopsided that I'd be paying $2100 a month for the rest of her life.


BS: Me WS: Her M: 26 Years Daughter: 24
DDays: 1996, 8/2006, 5/2016
1st: Online, 2nd: EA/PA, 3rd: She got shot down
Starting to take care of myself.

posts: 122   ·   registered: Aug. 29th, 2006
id 8693896

Blandy ( member #79252) posted at 12:35 AM on Tuesday, October 19th, 2021

Isn't the court system grand? It's reasons such as this that we're seeing fringe group-think of MGTOW and others becoming more popular.

posts: 106   ·   registered: Aug. 8th, 2021   ·   location: TX
id 8693903

Wiseoldfool ( member #78413) posted at 1:32 AM on Tuesday, October 19th, 2021

Very likely there is a catch all "inappropriate marital conduct" ground for you to use to get divorced. Also, which ground you can or can’t use may have very little to do with the type, amount, and/or duration of any alimony award. Stated differently, the trend is that alimony is based more on need and ability to pay and the duration of a marriage than the cause of the divorce.

Every secret you keep with your affair partner sustains the affair. Every lie you tell, every misunderstanding you permit, every deflection you pose, every omission you allow sustains the affair.

posts: 145   ·   registered: Mar. 1st, 2021
id 8693913

grubs ( member #77165) posted at 3:45 AM on Tuesday, October 19th, 2021

This sort of stuff is very state specific attorney consultation would be best taken sooner rather than later. Generally imputed income is used. That is income that your ex could make if she was working FT not her actual income. Personally before broaching the topic of D, for an expected alimony of $2k a month, I would engage services of a PI to see if she has relapsed with the original AP or another. You mentioned the last affair, that you know of, was five years ago. That kind of implies multiple. Serial cheaters seldom reform on their own.

posts: 830   ·   registered: Jan. 21st, 2021
id 8693932

Catwoman ( member #1330) posted at 2:03 PM on Tuesday, October 19th, 2021

You need legal advice from an attorney experienced in practicing family law in your state. You cannot rely on SI or any other online entity to give you advice specific to your situation.

The trend today is for spousal support to be based more on need or "rehabilitative" alimony to allow a partner to gain education or experience to be self supporting. However, all states are different.

I assume your child is emancipated or near emancipation. Is that correct?

See an attorney--the picture may be more encouraging than you are led to believe.


FBS: Married 20 years, 2 daughters 27 and 24. Divorced by the grace of GOD.
D-Days: 2/23/93; 10/11/97; 3/5/03
Ex & OW Broke up 12-10
"An erection does not count as personal growth."

posts: 32965   ·   registered: Apr. 5th, 2003   ·   location: Massachusetts
id 8693974

Gottagetthrough ( member #27325) posted at 9:41 PM on Tuesday, October 19th, 2021

I was told that alimony is only lifetime when the spouse has been a stay at home parent for a long time (like 20-25 years)

When i was getting divorced at 9 years, they said i would get alimony for 1/2 that time. (I am a SAHM)

My wh left for OW and told people, was living with her, etc… it is still very hard to prove an affair and even so, it is probably easier to just get out quickly and do an irreconcilable differences divorce. I think a fault divorce takes a longer time and most likely a trial (unless the spouse at fault would say yes i cheated, i sign off on a fault divorce)

I would fight lifetime alimony of 2100 a month. An expensive court case might be worth it in this case- $50,000 lawyers fees? Same as 2 years of alimony.

posts: 3638   ·   registered: Jan. 22nd, 2010
id 8694053

Gottagetthrough ( member #27325) posted at 10:09 PM on Tuesday, October 19th, 2021

And definitely talk to an attorney before you get nervous .

In my experience, you pay for what you get with attorneys. Cheaper is not usually better.

I wouldnt worry as much about what law school they went to as much as their reputation. My first went to an Ivy League law school but was a wimp. My husband had the shark of the town. He "won"

posts: 3638   ·   registered: Jan. 22nd, 2010
id 8694057

homewrecked2011 ( member #34678) posted at 10:15 PM on Tuesday, October 19th, 2021

My initial consultation was $100.00. The attorney told me right away how the Judges in MY city usually rule on the divorce / adultery cases, and what I could do to help my case. You don’t have to file right away, you can get the info from the lawyer and mull it over.

[This message edited by homewrecked2011 at 4:32 AM, Wednesday, October 20th]

Sometimes He calms the storm. Sometimes He lets the storm rage, but calms His child. Dday 12/19/11I went to an attorney and had him served. Shocked the hell out of him, with D papers, I'm proud to say!D final10/30/2012Me-55

posts: 5371   ·   registered: Jan. 30th, 2012
id 8694058

EvenKeel ( member #24210) posted at 6:27 PM on Wednesday, October 20th, 2021

As other's stated...get to an attorney. You will feel a lot better when you know for sure what to expect.

My attorney told me I could file under adultery but the outcome would be the same (ie how we agreed to divide the assets) and the cost would be greater. So I went with a no fault due based on his recommendations and had a relatively cheapie D.

Also, some folks has use alimony as a negotiation tool (ie signing over the house in exchange for no alimony, etc). So go see a good attorney to understand your options.

posts: 6685   ·   registered: May. 31st, 2009   ·   location: Pennsylvania
id 8694186

barcher144 ( member #54935) posted at 4:33 PM on Thursday, October 21st, 2021

You really need to get to an attorney from your area because practices vary substantially from State to State and even within a State. For example, my divorce happened in a suburban county... whereas my girlfriend's divorce happened in an adjacent, urban county. The logistics of the divorce were VERY different between these two counties. My attorney admitted that my county would be difficult and she would strongly have preferred to have been in my girlfriend's county.

Also, try to understand the divorce laws as best as you can. They are often confusing and seemingly contradictory, but it will help you decide how to proceed.

You also need to understand that the law doesn't care about you and your feelings. That is, the law is not what you think it should be... the law is what it actually is. You might think this or that is unfair, but that's not really a helpful though... you just need to make sure that you follow the law. The good news on this topic is your STBX will likely have similar feelings about the law. My xWW spouts off on crazy-ass legal theories on a regular basis, none of which have any validity.

To directly answer your questions, alimony in my location depends on numerous factors and ultimately it requires either a settlement or a judge's ruling. There are guidelines, but my state's statutes are basically "this needs to be decided on a case by case basis." One of the guidelines in my State is that a marriage needs to be at least 20 years in duration before lifetime alimony can be awarded.

Me: BH, age 48
Her: WS, age 45 (multiple EAs and PAs)
D-Day: August 30, 2016

Diagnosed with depression in December 2016, which was primarily caused by my xWW's affair and associated emotional abuse.

posts: 5141   ·   registered: Aug. 31st, 2016
id 8694349

gmc94 ( member #62810) posted at 7:51 PM on Thursday, October 21st, 2021

Just wanna echo that you need to see an attorney in your state.

Much as the timing thing MAY come into play and be detrimental to your situation, my state's laws make ZERO allowances for infidelity... any spouse could be banging as many people and as often as they like and it will make no difference in maintenance or how assets are split (and a few years back our Supreme Court did away with lawsuits against APs). Indeed, if infidelity is raised, most of the judges in my area will say "it takes two to tango", referring to the husband & wife and not the cheater & AP

ETA: Anyone willing to potentially go public with their infidelity story may want to reach out to their state electeds (representative/senator or their state equivalent) to feel them out about changing the laws to more accurately reflect the trauma and impacts of infidelity. Just like most BS, most lawmakers are equally clueless about PISD, relational betrayal PTSD, etc. And, while some may be cheaters themselves, others may be very interested in finding ways to change the laws. Just an idea :)

[This message edited by gmc94 at 2:06 PM, October 21st, 2021 (Thursday)]

M >25yrs/grown kids
DD1 1994 ONS prostitute
DD2 2018 exGF1 10+yrEA & 10yrPA... + exGF2 EA forever & "made out" 2017
9/18 WH hung himself- died but revived

It's rude to say "I love you" with a mouthful of lies

posts: 3509   ·   registered: Feb. 22nd, 2018
id 8694393

Thumos ( member #69668) posted at 11:19 PM on Thursday, October 21st, 2021

Not many states take adultery/infidelity into account much anymore. There a few holdovers, but not many. Even things that actively work against BS's like "condonation" in the time period when most BS's are still in deep shock and unable to think straight. Also, on this note, in many states most post nuptial agreements signed after D-Day aren't worth the paper they are printed on, which is probably why lots of "reconciling" cheaters are all too willing to sign them. In most cases, post nups can be dismissed bc they were signed "under duress."

It would be a great reform to hold cheating spouses feet to the fire financially as recompense for abuse, but I doubt many state legislatures will act on it. They'd get hammered in the media if they tried to act on it.

[This message edited by Thumos at 11:20 PM, Thursday, October 21st]

"True character is revealed in the choices a human being makes under pressure. The greater the pressure, the deeper the revelation, the truer the choice to the character's essential nature."

BH: 50, WW: 49 Wed: Feb.'96 DDAY1: 12.20.16 DDAY2: 12.23.19

posts: 4387   ·   registered: Feb. 5th, 2019   ·   location: UNITED STATES
id 8694426

grubs ( member #77165) posted at 11:33 PM on Thursday, October 21st, 2021

It would be a great reform to hold cheating spouses feet to the fire financially as recompense for abuse, but I doubt many state legislatures will act on it.

I have a strange feeling that politicians as a group would be disproportionately impacted by these legislations than the general populace.

posts: 830   ·   registered: Jan. 21st, 2021
id 8694429

nightowl1975 ( member #32212) posted at 9:03 AM on Sunday, October 24th, 2021

The statute you quoted also says you cannot knowingly cohabitate after finding out about the infidelity and use infidelity as a cause for the divorce if I’m reading it correctly. That seems like a very extreme thing… very few literally kick the cheating spouse out immediately and never look back.

Either way, as others have said, you definitely need advice from an attorney familiar with how the judges in your country rule. At the end of the day, that’s what matters. I live in a pretty conservative state and was told flat out by multiple attorneys that judges just do not care about infidelity. They’ve heard it all. The one thing I had in my "favor" from a judge standpoint was that the OW had an undisclosed incurable STD. Apparently the judges here DO care very much about that. I digress…

Sometimes we are left with choices that simply aren’t fair. Yet those are our choices and we must decide. It may be that $2100 is too steep a price to pay for your freedom. Or it may be that it’s completely worth it. Only you can decide.

Me: 44
Ex: 52
D Day: 4/2010
Divorced: 7/2010

posts: 779   ·   registered: May. 19th, 2011
id 8694846

Marz ( member #60895) posted at 6:43 AM on Friday, November 5th, 2021

See an attorney. Try and find a good one. Maybe get 3 free consults if you can.

posts: 6791   ·   registered: Oct. 3rd, 2017
id 8696892

 lumpygravy (original poster member #11877) posted at 4:11 PM on Wednesday, November 17th, 2021

So far, I have gone to a couple of attorneys - it's not as bad as it seems. I will report more as I find out more. I signed with one attorney, then consulted with another, and I am going to fire the ones I signed up with and switch. I was too hasty.

BS: Me WS: Her M: 26 Years Daughter: 24
DDays: 1996, 8/2006, 5/2016
1st: Online, 2nd: EA/PA, 3rd: She got shot down
Starting to take care of myself.

posts: 122   ·   registered: Aug. 29th, 2006
id 8698886

Marz ( member #60895) posted at 5:36 PM on Wednesday, November 17th, 2021

Picking a great attorney is key.

posts: 6791   ·   registered: Oct. 3rd, 2017
id 8698906
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