For divorces entered on or before December 31, 2018, alimony (maintenance) has been deductible to the maintenance payor. And the spouse receiving maintenance includes it as income for tax purposes. What this means is that generally the alimony payor has received a tax break on alimony as paid.
For divorces and separation agreements entered on or after January 1, 2019:
No longer will maintenance be deductible for the spouse who pays maintenance.
The recipient no longer includes maintenance as taxable income.
The loss of the tax break of maintenance will have a significant negative impact on divorce cases when at least one spouse has a high tax rate. Basically, there is less money to divide in a divorce that occurs after December 31, 2018.
For orders modified after that date but where the underlying divorce was entered before January 1, 2019, generally maintenance should continue to be deductible. On the other hand, the parties could specify that the new tax law regarding how maintenance is treated would apply.
A divorce, whether uncontested or contested is always stressful. It evokes emotions of fear, guilt, anger and sometimes greed.
If you are contemplating a divorce you need to contact Marder & Seidler, so you can consider your rights and options. They are experienced family law lawyers who can advise you on protecting your rights, your assets and child custody.
Even in an uncontested divorce, however, there are usually some details which must be negotiated. There is no such thing as a “cookie cutter” divorce. Each case has its own peculiarities, since each case involves two individuals whose relationship as a couple is different from relationships of all other couples.
A contested divorce arises when the parties are unable to negotiate and/or agree on a settlement. The parties then ask the court to decide the particular issues. A contested divorce will usually take much longer to complete and be much more expensive due to the time necessary to prepare all the issues for presentation at trial. However, even those cases which are initially contested may be ultimately settled without a trial or if the parties are properly represented.
In practice together since 1978, here at Marder & Seidler, Schaumburg Divorce Lawyers, we do everything we can to resolve the issues in a fair and timely manner. We have been able to negotiate settlement agreement in cases where, on first impression, the parties seemed to be hopelessly deadlocked. Call Marder & Seidler, Schaumburg Divorce Lawyers, for an appointment and see if we can help you through these emotional periods in your life.
Following are some short definitions of terms which you may have heard or will hear during the divorce process:
Dissolution of Marriage: this is the legal term used by the State of Illinois when referring to divorce.
Marital Estate: Generally the jointly owned property or property acquired by the parties during the marriage.
Marital Property: As a rule, any property acquired during the marriage by either party is considered to be martial property if acquired with marital funds.
Contested Divorce: The parties cannot agree on issues related to the divorce.
Uncontested Divorce: The parties are in agreement on all the issues related to divorce.
Sole Custody: One parent is given all decision making power regarding the minor child.
Joint Custody: Also known as joint parenting wherein both parties are given power to jointly make decisions regarding the minor child, although the child will usually reside with one parent.
Child Support: The amount that the non-residential parent pays for the support of the minor child. In Illinois there are certain statutory guidelines for the minimum amount of child support payments.
Maintenance: Formerly known as alimony, maintenance is the payment by one spouse to the other for support of the spouse. Many factors are considered before any grant of maintenance is given.
Contact Marder & Seidler, Schaumburg Divorce Lawyers, for an appointment to discuss your questions and concerns. Whether your divorce is contested or uncontested, involves children or not, your assets are large or small, you need experienced lawyers to help you through the process. Marder & Seidler, Schaumburg Divorce Lawyers, are experienced, compassionate and caring attorneys who will guide and protect you through this difficult period.
We can assist you with the new law, effective January l, 2015, which adds language to the existing Illinois alimony statute that will require the court to consider income percentage guidelines in making a decision about awarding alimony payments. The idea of guidelines set by statute is something echoed in other areas of family and divorce law; specifically, statutory guidelines are regularly used to calculate child support payments and have been used in the state of Illinois as such for approximately 30 years.
The use of statutory guidelines is meant to serve several purposes. One advantage of using guidelines in making payment determinations is meant to ensure more consistent awards. Other benefits include giving judges objective measures to use in determining both amounts and lengths of alimony awards, as well as giving divorcing parties a better idea of what to expect from a judge in the area of alimony, which can be especially useful during settlement discussions.
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Call Marder & Seidler at 847-985-6767 for an appointment to discuss your situation, and find out how the new law applies to you.