Alimony and Custody Appeal In West Virginia

"Questions relating to alimony and to the maintenance and custody of the children are within the sound discretion of the court and its action with respect to such matters will not be disturbed on appeal unless it clearly appears that such discretion has been abused." Nichols v. Nichols, 160 W. Va. 514, 236 S.E.2d 36 (1977).

In reviewing challenges to the findings and conclusions of the circuit court, we apply a two-prong deferential standard of review.

We review the final order and the ultimate disposition under an abuse of discretion standard, and we review the circuit court's underlying factual findings under a clearly erroneous standard.

Questions of law are subject to a de novo review.

Walker v. West Virginia Ethics Comm'n, 201 W. Va. 108, 492 S.E.2d 167 (1997). See also Chrystal R.M. v. Charlie A.L., 194 W. Va. 138, 459 S.E.2d 415 (1995) ("Where the issue on an appeal from the circuit court is clearly a question of law or involving the interpretation of a statute, we apply a de novo standard of review.").

In addition, and of particular relevance to the instant appeal, we customarily accord deference to circuit court rulings involving a determination of child support.