Spousal Support / Alimony
How does spousal support work?
Spousal support, or as it's also called, alimony, is likely an issue whenever there is a significant difference in personal income between the two spouses. The spouse that receives support will pay federal and state income taxes on it, and the spouse making support payments will be entitled to a tax deduction. The existence, amount and duration of monthly support payments will be defined either by the court in a contested setting or by the parties in the form of a settlement agreement.
Courts make determinations regarding spousal support after considering many factors:
- such as the length of the marriage,
- the standard of living during the marriage,
- as well as the age,
- earning capacity
- and job histories of both individuals.
In many of our cases, we must negotiate or litigate to achieve a minimization or termination of this sometimes oppressive obligation in our client’s best interest.
Changes to US Tax Law Regarding Spousal Support:
The new tax plan that was passed in Dec. 2017 goes into effect on January 1, 2019. At that time Spousal Support deduction for the payer will be abolished.
This doesn’t alter deals that are currently in place, nor will it sway divorce settlements on the books before then.
It will, however, influence all settlements after that date. And it holds the potential to cause drastic changes to the entire divorce process. Many expect it to alter the way attorneys and courts approach negotiations.
What are the different types of Spousal Support?
While these are the three types of spousal support, the court can also award a combination.
During the post-divorce transition period, payments may be larger. But they may shift to a smaller maintenance amount at some point down the road.