Alimony Tax Law Changes: The Rush to Finish Divorces

Many people have been discussing the new tax laws and their implications on divorce. Because they are so new, not all attorneys are familiar with the changes or understand their true implications.

The most important change is the new tax laws eliminate the deduction for alimony payments required by post 2018 divorce agreements.   This essentially means that if you are able to complete and execute a divorce agreement before 2019, you will still be able to deduct alimony payments. These tax savings can be quite substantial, so it is something one should consider. Once January of 2019 hits, one will no longer be able to do this. As the year gets closer to the end, if you are close to reaching an agreement it may be better to compromise on some issues in order to finish the agreement in time to keep these deductions. This is something your attorney should be working with you on.

If you are already divorced the changes should not affect you. However, if you do modify your agreement, you may be subject to the new tax laws. The modification would have to expressly provide that the repeal of the qualified alimony and separate maintenance rules of the Internal Revenue Code do not apply to preserve the alimony deduction.

Additionally, if you are the spouse receiving alimony, the new tax law shall probably affect the amount of alimony you shall receive. Once this goes into affect, alimony payments will most likely go down as spouses will be incentivized to pay less and may fight harder against paying alimony.

Many attorneys are not accountants and may not be aware of these changes. Because of this, it is something you should probably discuss with your accountant as well. It is at the least, something to take into consideration if you are already in the process of getting a divorce or considering a divorce in the near future.

Please continue to visit our website or schedule a consultation should you desire to know more about the tax law changes affecting divorces.




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