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Going through divorce in Virginia? Understanding alimony is key.

Alimony can be a contentious subject for couples going through divorce. Alimony is not a given in every divorce, and it will not automatically be granted when individuals in Virginia start the divorce process. Much like details of a property division settlement, an alimony agreement can be negotiated, and several individual factors will play a role in how the court makes decisions regarding alimony.

As far as an amount is concerned, alimony payments depend heavily on the incomes of the spouses. Their shared bank accounts, retirement accounts and investments will also play a role in alimony determinations. The ability of one spouse to find gainful employment and support him or herself will also be considered when an amount is determined.

As for the duration of alimony payments, that can vary greatly depending on the circumstances. The longer the marriage, the longer a spouse is likely to receive alimony. The ages of the spouses may also be factored into how long alimony is paid, particularly when it comes to the retirement of the spouse who pays. Alimony may also be reduced or suspended for a time if the paying person has a reduction in income.

Those in Virginia who are concerned with how alimony will impact their divorces should be aware of the individual factors that can play a role in their divorces. After an agreement is made and an amount is negotiated, both parties will also want to be aware of which changes can impact their agreement, including remarriage. When both parties know the facts and want to move forward with an agreement that seems fair for both, negotiations regarding other aspects of the divorce may move forward more smoothly.

Source: huffingtonpost.com, "Divorce Confidential: Alimony -- Are You On The Hook?", Caroline Choi, Nov. 13, 2015

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