Laws impacting the Family Law realm of litigation change relatively frequently in the United States, whether it’s a new state law changing the treatment of animals in a divorce or a change in how we interpret the best interests of a child.
One of the most noteworthy changes recently is the Trump administration’s tax reforms regarding alimony, or spousal support. In accordance with those laws, which go into effect on Jan. 1, 2019, alimony payments will no longer be deductible by the paying party; the receiving spouse will not have to report the payments as income. This can affect divorcing and divorced couples across North Carolina.
If you are going through a divorce
As described in this Motley Fool article, parties currently going through a divorce have a powerful incentive to settle the alimony issue sooner, rather than later, as there are financial benefits to doing so.
Reaching an agreement in 2018 means that the paying spouse will be able to claim a deduction for the alimony payments on their taxes. This can potentially more likely for these parties to agree to pay higher amounts of support. In 2019, that incentive goes away.
If you are already divorced
If you already have a spousal support agreement or court order on spousal support in place, nothing will change about your agreement or order. And as noted in the article, the same holds true for parties who wish to modify existing support orders in the future.
However, there are numerous situations where the outcome is less certain. This includes divorced couples seeking first-time spousal support agreements and those who wish to adopt the new rules.
Seeking legal guidance when the laws change
Legal guidance in any family legal matter is crucial, but it becomes even more important when the laws recently changed or will change. A family law attorney can help explain the laws and help parties understand how and if legislative changes will affect them and their divorce.
There can be a lot at stake in a divorce, including the payment of spousal support; utilizing the resources available to you can help you make informed decisions that protect your best interests.