If you and your spouse are ending your marriage, you face either a contested or uncontested divorce.
Either way, the subject of alimony may come into play. When deciding on an alimony award, the court will consider several factors. A recent change in the tax law will also affect both the payor and the payee.
Type of divorce
You and your spouse may not be able to agree on the major points of divorce, such as property division or child custody. If this is the case, you face a contested divorce, and a judge will determine the terms of your divorce decree. On the other hand, if the two of you feel you can work out a settlement agreement, you are looking at an uncontested divorce, which will save you a good deal of time and money.
In the Commonwealth of Virginia, the court will award alimony or spousal support only when necessary. Usually, a judge will approve the award if the divorce comes after a long marriage, if there is a significant gap in income levels between the parties, or if one spouse has a disability or is not employed.
About the 2018 tax bill
The federal tax bill that became effective on January 1, 2019, affects alimony. Formerly, the recipient had to pay tax on the full amount while the payor could deduct it. The new law reversed that situation. Now the payee does not have to pay taxes on the amount received, and the alimony amount is no longer tax deductible for the payor.
A look ahead
Once you have decided to end your marriage, the next step is to gain an understanding of Virginia laws as they pertain to divorce and matters such as alimony and the associated tax implications.