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Spousal Support Shift Under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act

President Donald Trump promised hefty tax changes prior to his inauguration. One substantial tax change under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act concerned the deductibility of spousal support.

Prior to the enactment of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), those receiving spousal support (alimony) were forced to claim the proceeds as taxable income, while those paying the alimony were allowed to deduct the payments from their taxes. However, under the new statute, it is reversed. Now, those that are receiving the alimony are able to deduct the alimony given by their former spouse from their taxes, while those paying the alimony will have to include it on their taxes. The change becomes effective after December 31, 2018.

If you will be the recipient of the alimony, you may wish to extend the duration of the divorce proceedings to allow for the alimony to be tax deductible for you. Conversely, if you are the one paying the alimony, you may wish to speed up the divorce proceedings so you can take advantage of the current tax deductions.

Another factor that may pose an issue is when the alimony payments cease. In New York, alimony payments may cease when:

  • Either of the spouses passes away;
  • The alimony recipient remarries; or
  • The alimony recipient habitually lives with a person whom is held put to be their future spouse.

Ending a marriage is not easy, but it may be necessary. If you have decided to file for divorce, it is important to contact a skilled New York matrimonial law attorney to help guide you through the process. The staff at the Fig Law, P.L.L.C. have experience representing spouses in all aspects of matrimonial law and can walk you through the complexities of divorce, which can be overwhelming and emotional. Contact Heather A. Fig at office to learn more about the firm’s services and approach to divorce and family law matters.

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