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Think carefully about financial decisions in a divorce

Money is an issue in many Virginia divorces. Fighting about finances may be what leads a couple to divorce in the first place.

Because money can be a touchy subject, it is not always easy to look at the financial aspects of divorce, such as property division and spousal support, objectively. However, couples should carefully consider how to handle these divorce legal issues, so they don't make poor decisions that will haunt them for years to come.

One issue present in many divorces is what to do with the family home. It may be tempting to fight tooth-and-nail to keep the family home. However, spouses should keep in mind the expenses associated with homeownership. There are upkeep costs, mortgages and property taxes to pay, and homeowners' insurance to maintain. The party keeping the home will want to make sure they can afford to do so on a single income.

Spousal support can be another sticking point in a divorce. It used to be the case that the spouse who paid spousal support could deduct those payments from their annual income taxes. However, that is no longer the case. Under current law, for spouses whose divorce was finalized starting January 1, 2019, the party paying alimony cannot claim the tax deduction they may have had had they divorced earlier.

Therefore, it may be tempting to quit your job, so you won't owe spousal support. However, this could devastate you financially and may not look good to a judge who is tasked with making decisions regarding alimony.

Ultimately, when it comes to property division and spousal support, it is important for couples to think with a clear head. This can be difficult, which is why spouses are often advised to seek legal counsel. An attorney can explain how certain decisions made in a divorce can affect their clients' financial future, so that their clients can make decisions that are in their best interests.

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