Workman

CHARLESTON -– Chief Justice Margaret L. Workman says she plans to create a committee of judges, lawyers and others to study the issue of whether West Virginia should adopt guidelines for the award of spousal support similar to the guidelines for child support.

"Through this study, we hope to ascertain if such guidelines are needed, and whether they would reduce the costs, both financial and emotional, of the divorce process," she told family court judges at the Fall Family Court Judicial Education Conference at the Marriott Town Center Hotel in Charleston.

Workman said that awards of spousal support, when made, are inconsistent and unpredictable, and that current law does not provide guidance on when an award of spousal support should be made or guidance on its amount and duration. "The goal is to insure fairness, predictability and consistency to all litigants (both male and female)," she said.

If the commission determines such guidelines are appropriate, it will make recommendations on the amount and duration of such support. Those recommendations would go to the Supreme Court, and perhaps to the Legislature.

Workman will announce the members of the commission soon.

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