UPDATED: Spousal Support: What is Galimony?

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UPDATE: The sweeping new tax plan Congress passed at the end of 2017 will impact almost everyone. This includes changes to divorce settlements, specifically those involving spousal support.

Beginning January 1, 2019, on new court orders that include spousal support provisions, the party paying spousal support will no longer be able to deduct this amount. At the same time, the recipient will no longer have to pay taxes on this amount. As it currently stands, the opposite is true. This may impact the way people negotiate divorce settlements. Some estimate spousal support payments could drop as much as 10% to 15%.

However, this large change in spousal support taxation policy will not apply to existing divorce orders (those entered prior to January 1, 2019). These orders, so long as not later modified, will be grandfathered in at the prior tax policy.

It is important to note that any Modification after December 31, 2018, to a pre-existing court order re spousal support will likely be subject to the new laws. So, if you have an order in place before 2019, the old regulations still apply. But if you modify the order after the new tax plan takes effect, you’re likely subject to the new rules.

ORIGINAL POST: Galimony is a non-legal term for spousal support that is paid by the wife to the husband. A quick search of Urban Dictionary also sites galimony as the alimony paid when a same-sex couple divorces.

Galimony is a riff off the term alimony, which has been replaced in the legal lexicon with “spousal support”.  In a divorce, it is imperative to understand when, and how, spousal support is applied.

Spousal support is a tool used by the courts to level the playing field for both parties exiting the marriage. Spousal support can be negotiated and agreed upon by both parties. If no agreement can be reached, the courts can determine if (and how much) spousal support is awarded.

There are several factors that influence spousal support. Some of these factors are: ability to pay, length of marriage, disparity of income between spouses, and the standard of living during the marriage. This is not an exhaustive list and it is important to remember the court may take additional information into consideration.

Spousal support is modifiable, but, the standard for modification of spousal support is exceptionally difficult requiring a substantial change in financial circumstances not known or intended at the date of divorce. It is imperative to be very diligent in negotiation up front because fixing it later is very difficult.

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