Spousal Support After a Divorce

How to Determine if You Will Be Awarded Alimony or Have to Pay It

A divorce is stressful no matter what the circumstances are, but it’s true that there’s an added layer of stress if the dissolution of the union is going to severely reduce the quality of your life here in West Virginia. Thankfully, there are systems in place that make the transition from married life to single life a little bit easier. Spousal support, or alimony, is there to ensure that the terms of the divorce are equal. If required, one of the parties will provide financial support for the other. The amount is calculated after various aspects have been factored in.

Separation Agreements

A marriage is supposed to mean that two individuals become a team, which often leads to a separation of responsibilities. For example, one person might agree to look after the home and raise the children, while the other may go to work. After a divorce, the working person might continue with their well-paying job, while the person who stayed at home will be left with no income. Because this was one of the arrangements of the marriage, the person with the salary would have to pay a portion of their income, often referred to as alimony payments, to the other party. The greater the income difference, the more chance there is of obtaining alimony.

Living Arrangements

You’ll also have an increased chance of getting spousal support if you can demonstrate that your living arrangements will be significantly worse if you don’t have the financial support of your ex-spouse. With the help of a divorce lawyer in West Virginia, you’ll argue that the non-payment of alimony will lead to a reduction in the overall quality of life. If you have children, you are also going to need to think about child custody and child support.

Looking for Work

Of course, it’s easy to say that that a person who is divorced should get a job, but the reality is that the circumstances are usually much more complex than that. For example, a spousal support lawyer in West Virginia may argue that since the person has to continue looking after the children, or, for whatever reason, is unable to work, then they deserve to receive money from the other party. There’s also the fact that the spouse may not have the education or training needed to obtain a job, so there are costs going into that as well. There are many reasons why a person may be unable to work; so long as you’re able to put forward a convincing case, you’ll have a shot of receiving payments.

Financial Security After Divorce

It’s important to note that even with the above factors considered, alimony may still not be awarded. For example, you may find another partner who funds your lifestyle. In some cases, the other party may argue such circumstances, even without proof. That’s why it’s important to work with a Charleston divorce lawyer — they’ll help to fight your corner, especially when you’re getting attacked.

Are You the One Paying Alimony?

If you’re told to pay alimony, then you need to pay it. However, there are times when the deal of the arrangement may be changed, such as if you lose your job or face a reduction in salary. If you are on the opposite end of the spousal support argument, a divorce attorney that has experience litigating spousal support may be able to assist you.

Regardless of which side of the situation that you are in, Pritt & Pritt can help you determine what and how much is needed. Contact us today.Pritt-CTA-Dspousal support (1).png


Escaping Domestic Violence

How a Charleston, West Virginia Divorce Lawyer Can Help

Domestic violence in West Virginia isn’t something that we like to think about too often, but the fact of the matter is that it’s a real, widespread issue that affects millions of lives each year. It’s estimated that around one in four women, and one in nine men, experience some sort of physical violence or intimidation at the hands of their partner. If you’re married and find yourself in this situation, then it’s important that you take steps to work towards a divorce.

Taking the First Step Out of an Abusive Relationship

The stats show that most people who experience violence at the hands of their abusive partner tend to stay at the first or second instance that they first experienced the violence. Many wait and endure, often incorrectly believing that things will get better..

It’s important to keep in mind that violence in a domestic arrangement rarely just stops. Moving towards a divorce is to make a conscious decision to leave the arrangement, which is often the most difficult step. The time and energy involved in getting a divorce mean it’s something that requires full commitment before undertaking. Remember, you are not alone in this process; there are people around you that want to help.

Keep Detailed Notes of the Controlling Behaviors

Be sure to keep detailed notes of the incidents, as well as controlling tendencies that your partner displays. It is also important to record details of any police meetings, hospital visits, and the like when it comes to proceeding on with your divorce. Domestic violence cases can be tricky, but with documentation on what has happened in the past and records of what you are going through throughout the divorce proceeding, your chances of having a favorable outcome improves greatly.

Seeking Professional Help

When a person has shown that they’re willing to commit domestic violence another person, the threat of further violence always exists. Understanding what additional steps to take will help to keep yourself safe. This may involve talking with the police, moving out of the family home,  a counselor, family member, friend, pastor, or talking with one of the support organizations that exist to help you deal with this situation.

Before moving on with the process of formally dissolving your union in the eyes of the state, more than anything, it’s imperative that you’re keeping yourself safe. There is also a private, 24/7 national domestic abuse hotline called The National Domestic Violence Hotline, that you can contact for help you find safety by connecting you to a service provider or shelter across the United States. You can reach the hotline at 1-800-799-7233.

Talk to a Divorce Lawyer

When you’re ready, it’s important that you’re working with a divorce lawyer that specializes in domestic violence here in West Virginia. They’ll be able to give you all the legal guidance and support you need to make the process as straightforward as possible.

If it happens to be a contested divorce, which means it’s even more important that you have a trusted, experienced Charleston divorce lawyer on your side, the process of getting a divorce can be complicated, but you’ll feel confident and more likely to get what’s rightfully yours when you have a professional working hard to fight your corner.

Remember, It Is Not Your Fault

Divorce is difficult, whether you are affected by domestic abuse or not. If you are, however, you need to know it is not your fault – There is help out there for you.

Here at Pritt & Pritt, we hate the thought of what you had to go through; no marriage should result in violence. We hope that it gives you comfort to know that we are here to help you start a better life but to also know that we cannot wait to see a world where domestic violence becomes the past. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you are going through such a situation.Pritt-CTA-Domestic Violence.png


The Importance of Seeking a Professional Counselor During a Divorce

Nearly 50% of married couples in the U.S. wind up getting divorced. The reasons partners choose to separate are as diverse as the couples making the choice, although there are some commonly-cited reasons for divorce that come up more than others.

Whether you are considering separating from your spouse due to physical or emotional abuse, lack of commitment, communication issues, ongoing affairs, financial problems, or other complaints, the process can be quite stressful. That’s why divorcing couples should make a point of understanding the importance of seeking a professional counselor during a divorce.

What is Divorce Counseling?

Divorce counseling, also referred to as divorce guidance, is a specialized form of mental health care that addresses the unique concerns of those who are going through a divorce. This specialized therapeutic process can help those who are experiencing ongoing emotional pain and humiliation due to their separations process. Seeking counseling during divorce can make the difference between being stuck in the past and moving on to a healthier, happier life.

Who Should Seek Divorce Counseling?

Speaking with a counselor during a divorce is almost always a good idea.  There are some circumstances where this kind of professional help can be absolutely invaluable.

If you find that you can’t stop thinking about your recent divorce and it is preventing you from concentrating on future plans, it might be time to seek counseling. It’s not uncommon for divorced spouses to experience depression, anger, aggression, sleep disorders, substance abuse, or even suicidal thoughts and actions. The fact that these issues are quite common shouldn’t be taken as an indication that they don’t require professional help, though, as a divorce counselor can help his or her clients put all of those negative responses behind them and move on with their lives.

What Are the Benefits of Divorce Counseling?

Divorce counseling helps those who have separated from their spouses understand their responses to it better by helping them identify feelings related to their dissolved marriages. It also offers couples the support they need to face new challenges and prepare themselves for the future. Those who have children often find that divorce counselors can bring valuable advice about how to explain the situation to them and how to handle their reactions, as well.

Counselors who specialize in helping clients deal with divorce have devoted a good deal of time to researching coping mechanisms. These coping mechanisms are then passed on to their clients, who can use them to come to terms with the dissolution of their marriages and process any negative feelings like guilt or anger that it has left behind. This, in turn, can help clients recognize opportunities for growth and decide where they want their lives to go from there.

Finding a Counselor

It can be difficult to choose the right counselor after a divorce. Many divorcing couples feel uncomfortable discussing their personal business with their friends or family members, which can make it difficult to find recommendations. Sometimes the best idea is to ask a divorce lawyer in West Virginia for recommendations since they are often keyed into local psychological communities as well as legal communities.Pritt & Pritt CTA.png


Tips for Getting Organized at the Beginning of a Divorce

Divorces are almost always stressful. That doesn’t mean there’s nothing that couples can do to simplify the process, though. Here are some tips for getting organized at the beginning of divorce that can help.

Organizing Income Documents

Financial matters can be a serious point of contention when getting a divorce, but they should never be ignored. You can protect yourself financially by acquiring a few documents prior to your initial consultations. These documents should include paycheck stubs from the last year, documentation of business expenses, copies of tax returns for the past three years, copies of bank statements for the past two years, and any other information recommended by your attorney that could be used to establish net worth.

Organizing Documents Pertaining to Assets

When couples own real estate jointly it can be even more difficult to determine how assets should be divided. Spouses who are getting organized before a divorce should make a point of collecting documentation of all real estate that is either jointly owned or separately owned, including mortgage statements, copies of deeds, and tax assessor’s statements. It’s also a good idea to get documentation related to shared automobiles, boats, or other expensive assets together in advance, including those that demonstrate outstanding debt.

Organizing Documents Relating to Debt

First, you should create itemized lists of any debts in your own name or your spouse’s name. You should then list any outstanding secured debts such as loans, medical bills, and credit card debts. Write down contact information for each creditor as well.

Organizing Life Insurance and Pension Documents

Whether life insurance policies have been taken out independently or they have been offered through one or both spouse’s employers, copies of these documents should be collected prior to your initial consultations with a divorce lawyer in West Virginia. Make a point of including any statements that indicate cash balances or loans against life insurance policies, as well. Recent statements for pension funds and other types of retirement funds should also be collected prior to this meeting.

Sorting Out the Details

Gathering documents is only one important part of planning what to do during divorce. Other considerations such as where each partner will live must also be considered and a working budget must be determined based on current income. Spouses who have not been working should look into finding jobs, as they can’t always count on ongoing financial support after the divorce has been finalized.

Making Plans for Children

Any divorce is bound to come with its fair share of stress, but divorces that involve children can be downright harrowing. It’s important to come up with a plan regarding how to introduce the subject to kids in advance and to develop strategies for helping them cope. Think about practical concerns as well, such as which parent will have primary custody, where the children will be living, and whether they will have to change schools.

Write Down Questions

Writing down a list of questions and concerns can be just as helpful as collecting documents when it comes to preparing for an initial consultation with a divorce lawyer. There is no such thing as a stupid question when filing for divorce. Many spouses also seek out divorce counseling, which can help them mitigate the emotional aspects of their breakupsPritt & Pritt CTA.png


What You Need to Know About Prenups

Prenuptial agreements are becoming increasingly common and are more often upheld in court during divorce proceedings. Still, prenup agreements are not for everyone. Couples who are planning on marrying and who would like a prenup will want to carefully consider what they need and speak with a lawyer to create a valid prenup that can be used during a divorce if the couple divorces at some point in the future.

The Decision to Create a Prenup

No one plans on getting a divorce, but there are people who will want to consider a prenup just in case something happens and they decide to get a divorce in the future. A prenup agreement dictates what can happen in a divorce and how assets should be divided if the couple does separate. These are usually used when one person enters the marriage with more than the other person or makes significantly more money than their partner, but prenups can be useful for just about any couple who might be worried about the future. Prenups can also be used to clarify what assets are off limits to division when a couple has children from a prior relationship.  They will want to talk together to decide if a prenup is the right decision and, if so, what the prenup should include. It’s crucial both people understand the details of the prenup before agreeing to be bound by it.

Detailed Documentation for a Prenup

Before the prenup is written, documentation is crucial. The couple should gather documentation showing who owns what prior to the marriage if the prenup is going to include any information about the division of property or other assets in the event of a divorce. The more documentation they have available, the easier it will be to prove who owned what prior to the marriage. This can help minimize potential arguments in the future as to what falls under the prenup and what might be considered a marital asset.

Decide on What Should be in the Prenup

The couple should talk about what they want to include in the prenup and what it might mean if they get divorced. If there are provisions that dictate something might happen if the couple divorces for a certain reason or after a certain amount of time, it’s important to be clear about exactly what this involves and what changes. The more detailed the prenup is, the easier it will be to show it should be upheld if the couple does end up getting a divorce.

Division of Property After Death or Divorce

Many couples decide to get a prenup because they want to control how property is divided during a divorce or after the death of one spouse. Unless stated in a document such as a prenup, a person whose spouse dies is entitled to what’s called an elective share.  This means that despite what is stated in a will, a person can claim a portion of their deceased spouse’s probate estate.  The amount increases with time.  A prenup can include a provision stating a person waives their right to take an elective share.  However, as with other important legal documents, the correct language needs to be included in the document.  Even spouses waive an elective share, they are still free to put in their will how they would like their assets to be divided upon death.  This is where a lawyer such as the ones at Pritt & Pritt can help.

Note: The requirements for a will (two witnesses, other requirements) are different than a prenup.

With a division after divorce provision, what happens to assets and who obtains the assets will be decided. This often is created so that the property obtained before the marriage is not considered a marital asset and will remain with the person after the divorce. This can include property obtained prior to the marriage or certain types of property one person might obtain during the marriage.

Spousal Support

Another common reason for a prenup is to discuss spousal support before the marriage. It is possible for spousal support to be eliminated if both partners agree to this provision. couple should discuss and have placed into prenup what they believe would be a fair amount.

Child Support and Child Custody

A couple can discuss and have placed into a prenup provisions regarding child support and child custody.  However, whether those provisions will be enforceable is, ultimately, up to the judge.  Under West Virginia law, a Court must find that a parenting arrangement is not contrary to the best interest of the child.  Also, West Virginia courts are often reluctant to deviate from the child support formula.  Child support is not considered the property of the receiving parent.  Child support here is characterized as the property of child.  While a couple can have provisions put into a prenup regarding child support and child custody, a possibility exists that the provision will not be binding. This is one reason why a severability clause, one that says an agreement is not invalidated if one part is deemed illegal or unenforceable, is often included in such agreements.

Other Topics to Consider

Other topics can be included in a prenup as well. Basically, the prenup can cover any topic that would need to be discussed during a divorce so both partners understand what to expect if they do decide to get a divorce. This could include information about how to handle pension plans, inheritance money, as well as other assets that would typically be divided in a divorce.

Work with a Lawyer to Create a Prenup

Couples who want to create a prenup before they get married will want legal assistance. Working with a lawyer gives them the chance to learn more about the standard provisions as well as more unique provisions that might be a good idea to include. A lawyer can explain the chances of a provision being upheld as well as what might cause the courts to ignore a provision or the entire prenup if the couple gets a divorce. The lawyer also makes sure everything is written clearly to avoid confusion in the future.

If you’re getting married soon and you’d like to consider getting a prenup, Pritt Law can help. Set up a consultation to learn more about what you need to know for a prenup or to make sure you know what you need to have to start creating a prenup. They can help you with the prenup right now and the divorce in the future if you do end up needing to get a divorce. Contact Pritt Law today so you can start creating a prenup for you and your soon-to-be-spouse so you know everything is planned for just in case something happens in the future.Pritt & Pritt CTA.png


Three Challenging Feelings That Impact Children With Parents Going Through a Divorce

Breaking up is rarely easy, even for adults who consider themselves mature and emotionally resilient. Naturally, children often have an even more difficult time than their parents when it becomes clear that a marriage must be dissolved.

All over West Virginia, many of the state’s youngest residents feel the effects of divorce in ways that are not always clear to the adults who care for them so much. This is just one of many reasons why finding and working with a West Virginia divorce lawyer who understands how children will most likely be affected can end up being one of the most important decisions made throughout the divorce process.

Arriving at Decisions That Make a Difficult Process A Little Easier

Few adults ever find the prospect of divorce appealing in its own right, even when no other possible solution to parents’ problems seems to present itself. For children, however, the break-up of a marriage almost always ends up being much more difficult to bear for children involved than it is for the two individuals dissolving their marriage.

A divorce lawyer who is experienced with such matters, however, will generally be able to help one or both parents proceed in ways that minimize the stress which will be inflicted on children. Some of the feelings that children most often have to grapple with when their parents split up include:


Even in households where plenty of tension has existed for a long time, it will often not be clear at all to children that the situation has deteriorated. Many parents do an excellent job of keeping the most obvious signs of difficulty hidden from their offspring, so upon hearing that their parents will no longer be together, many children end up feeling confused above all else. Helping children understand why such a development has become necessary.


When two parents decide that they can no longer continue their lives as a married couple, children often feel angry and betrayed. It can seem like a personal affront for two supposedly committed adults to break the bonds of matrimony for their own reasons. Once again, a lawyer who understands how such feelings arise will often be able to help clients account for and manage their situation.


Above all else, splitting up will almost always mean subjecting children to feelings of uncertainty about the future. When a formerly reliable, accustomed arrangement is set to be dissolved, children will naturally be apprehensive about what is to come next. Taking great care to make suitable child custody arrangements and the like can help defuse such emotions.

Caring Attorneys are Ready to Help

Parents who decide that marriage is no longer viable often do so with little idea about what to expect next. That is especially true of the various ways by which divorcing can end up affecting vulnerable, dependent children. Fortunately, attorneys who recognize the importance of such matters are prepared to help their clients make decisions that will put the interests of children first in each and every possible way. The divorce lawyers at Pritt & Pritt Law are such attorneys. We are here and ready to help.Copy of Pritt CTA.png


Financial Security After a Divorce: What to Know

Going through a divorce in West Virginia, or any location for that matter can be extremely emotional. The consequences of a divorce can be many and far-reaching. While divorce is nothing short of gut-wrenching, you have to figure out, ‘what’s next?’

One of the most confusing and overwhelming aspects to handle after a divorce is finances. You will most likely be on a tighter budget since you are essentially going from a two-income household to a single income household. With the help of a quality divorce lawyer, you can overcome this life change and come out fine on the other side.

List Specific Goals

After a divorce, having financial goals can make the transition much smoother. Take some time to write down the goals that you want to reach financially, as well as short-term goals for where you are at this point in time. When you identify your financial goals with the help of a West Virginia divorce lawyer, you will start to have a better understanding at how realistic your goals really are. Your divorce lawyer can also create a plan for you to help you achieve them and land back on your feet.

Automate Savings

While you are trying to save money, it’s crucial that you remember to pay for your necessities first. One of the fastest and easiest ways to do this is with an automated program that allows you to invest on a consistent basis, in both bad and good times. If it is possible to set up an automatic withdrawal from a bank account, you can put some money into an investment account. This helps to reduce the need to remember to make these deposits on a regular basis.

Focus on What’s Controllable

Don’t get stuck on the stress and hype of the moment or what the financial programs on television are reporting every day. These programs tend to lead consumers to make reactionary and emotional decisions. Rather than focusing on financial issues, focus on the plan and achieving the goals you set out for yourself.

A divorce is not the end, it is simply a new beginning. This is the perfect opportunity for you to invest in yourself. You may want to go back to school, or even travel. During this time, take a leap and do something that may have been put off. While this may not be a financial step, it is a great way to overcome the trauma that a divorce can cause. Regardless, take the time to find yourself and define who you are at this stage in your life.

Going through a divorce can be devastating, but it can also lead to new, better chapters. Building your financial security is an important step that is necessary to take. Enlist the help of a divorce attorney at Pritt & Pritt Law if you would like assistance with your financial plan to ensure that you have a steady future ahead.Copy of Pritt CTA.png


So You Filed for Divorce, Now What?

Three Steps to Know Before You Go

 When a spouse files for a divorce, he/she is essentially suing the other spouse for the divorce, in addition to certain assets and specific custody arrangements. When filing for a divorce, the initial paperwork is referred to as the “complaint” or the “petition.” The next move in this process is completely up to the other spouse, but obtaining a divorce lawyer, regardless if you were the one to file for divorce or not, is a wise idea.

Divorce Petition

In West Virginia, the person who is filing for divorce has to serve their spouse a petition. This means that the other person has to receive the petition in some manner and be verified by the court. Each state has certain, set rules regarding what equates to proper service.

Once the petition is received by the other spouse, that individual has a short period of time to file their response, or “answer.” In West Virginia, the time limit is usually 20 days. The answer that is provided gives the position on the information that was included in the petition. In this answer, the spouse who received the petition should address each demand, either rejecting or accepting each and then issue their counter-demands. Most of this is done can be done with the help of a divorce lawyer.

The person who received the petition may also opt to do nothing. If the deadline elapses and there’s no answer filed, then the court will make the assumption that the person agrees to the terms outlined by the petition and a default judgment may be issued in favor of the person filing for divorce. Essentially, this means the person would get everything that they requested.


During this process, both individuals will exchange important information that is relevant to the divorce that has been filed. The divorce lawyers for each spouse will conduct their own investigations to see if there is something about the other spouse that needs to be brought to light. At this point, each person should expect that everything is going to come out. If someone is hiding money, or they have acted in an unlawful manner, then this could be discovered and used as leverage in the divorce agreement.


After the investigations are complete, the negotiations will begin. This is when the spouses and their attorneys try to work out some type of agreement on the issues present. If an agreement is reached, the divorce can be finalized.

Remember, if no agreement can be reached in the negotiation process, then it may go to court for a judge to decide on the other terms. The fact is, there is no part of a divorce that is easy, even if it is completely uncontested. This is why it is so important to have the services of an attorney to help with the process and each step of divorce. If you are thinking of going through a divorce or are currently in the process of one, contact the West Virginia divorce attorneys at Pritt & Pritt Law.

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Surviving a Divorce Before, During, and After the Holidays

Don’t Expect Perfection

People often feel they need to be the perfect family during the holidays. Conflict cannot be avoided, however, when couples are planning to split. It’s best to maybe let it go and lower expectations.

Plan Separate Activities

Don’t spend the holidays together. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying them in separate places. Although legal separation is not recognized in many states, this does not mean couples must stay together.

Consider Options

Mediation or a collaborative divorce may be a better option for your situation. Use this time to determine what method will be best for keeping the peace. Both options cost less than divorce and can be used to resolve any issues relating to the divorce.

Let Go of Anger and Resentment

Try to get rid of any anger and resentment. If you truly plan to stay together through Christmas and the other holidays, this will be your best course of action. Try to react differently when the spouse does something irritating. Remember it won’t be your problem much longer.

Make New Traditions

Find a new way to celebrate the holidays. Create new traditions without the spouse or make plans for future events. This will be of great help to the children who are already stressed over the tension in the household. New things give them something else to think about.

Discuss Custody Arrangements

During the holidays, think ahead to where the children will spend these moments once the divorce is complete. Speak to family members to discuss how they would like to spend future holidays. Planning ahead can make this less challenging.

Do Less

You are under a great deal of stress. Cut the list of essentials down so you don’t overdo it. Turn to family and friends for help, if needed, and obtain professional counseling if more help is required.

The holidays are meant to be enjoyed. Don’t let an upcoming divorce rob you of this. Spend time with family and friends and you will make it through this difficult time.Pritt CTA (1).png


Is it Necessary to Hire a Lawyer for Adoption?

Services Offered by an Adoption Attorney

The right adoption lawyer can help a person if they are working to adopt a child that is not biologically their child. They can also help a person find an agency to adopt a child from, file the needed paperwork, and provide representation in court.

Is an Adoption Lawyer Necessary?

If a person isn’t sure how to proceed with an adoption – or even get started – then hiring an adoption attorney is a smart move. They will have knowledge of the adoption laws in the state and provide guidance based on the person’s situation. The lawyer can also help their client prepare for hearings that may be necessary.

The cost of an adoption lawyer is a big concern for many people. In most cases, the attorney charges a flat rate for simple cases. However, for more complex situations, then they will likely charge an hourly rate. Keep in mind, this is something that is typically based on the situation, so it is best to discuss the charges for the case with an attorney before hiring them. This is how a person can be sure they have found the right lawyer for their case and situation.

Finding a quality adoption lawyer will pay off in the long run. They can help ensure the case is handled properly and that all steps and laws are followed. Many people have found having this legal representation is extremely beneficial, compared to trying to handle a legal matter, such as adoption, on their own.

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