New Tax Law Could Make Divorces More Difficult

From Bloomberg

  • New tax law prohibits deduction of alimony, starting in 2019

  • More cases may wind up in court as an incentive is eliminated

President Donald Trump’s tax law could make divorce an even more miserable experience, according to a new survey of the nation’s top matrimonial attorneys.

Almost two thirds of respondents said they expect divorce negotiations to become more acrimonious following a change to the tax treatment of alimony, a poll by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers showed. The new law includes a controversial provision that scraps the tax break divorcees get for paying alimony -- starting for divorces finalized next year.

Battles will ensue since alimony payers will have less of a tax incentive to be generous to their former spouses. The provision allows recipients to omit the alimony they receive from their taxable income, but divorce lawyers don’t expect that to offset the loss from a lower payout. The change could also have lasting consequences for child support, which is often calculated in tandem with alimony.

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