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The new face of divorce and alimony after New Year's Eve

It is now a year after the U.S. Congress passed the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Many couples in Illinois and elsewhere who are in the throes of divorce have pushed to get their cases finalized before Dec. 31. That would ensure that the Internal Revenue Service would continue to allow alimony payments to be deductible for the paying spouse, and taxable for the receiving spouse, none of which will apply after New Year's Eve.

Although many wives are now the primary breadwinners, women still make up the majority of spouses who need spousal support after divorces. As from Jan. 1 2019, husbands may need a lot more convincing to agree to pay alimony than in the past. This is because they will no longer receive tax benefits on alimony payments, and the receiving spouses will receive tax-free dollars if their divorces are finalized after Dec. 31.

The new law aims to benefit the federal Treasury. Some say the IRS will benefit significantly because instead of receiving the tax paid by the receiving spouse, it will now receive a much more significant amount if the paying spouse is no longer able to deduct alimony from his or her tax return. However, the additional tax burden on the paying spouse will cause a substantial reduction in the funds available for spousal support.

Divorcing spouses in Illinois will surely have questions about the new alimony laws, and how it may affect them. Answers can be obtained from an experienced divorce attorney. The lawyer can assess the unique circumstances of the client on which to base suggestions of the available options and the most appropriate way to proceed. Divorce proceedings are typically challenging but often simplified with the support and guidance of experienced legal counsel.

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Courtney ∙ Clark Law, P.C.
104 South Charles Street
Belleville, IL 62220

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