It’s a new year with new laws. And when it comes to family law, there are some big changes for residents of Florida and throughout the United States.
If you intend to divorce in 2019, you’ll need to know these law changes.
1. You no longer can deduct the alimony you paid to your ex-spouse because of changes to the federal tax law that passed in December 2017 and took effect on Jan. 1. This law change could make getting a divorce more combative. High earners, whose alimony payments have been subsidized by the tax deduction, are expected to fight to pay less in alimony. A Boston University economics professor said that the tax law should result in lower alimony payments to recipients, who previously had to pay taxes on alimony. Estimates have placed the amount the government will raise by removing the alimony deduction at $6.9 billion over the next 10 years.
2. If you divorced before 2019, your agreement will be grandfathered in but could be subject to change if you make changes. If you seek to modify your alimony amount in 2019, go over the consequences with your attorney very closely.
3. The tax laws could change your prenuptial and postnuptial agreements, too. An attorney should review them to see if any changes should be made.
Your attorney can provide ideas about how you can still offer a fair spousal support settlement without the tax law change hitting you too hard. For instance, you could offer to pass on an IRA account to your ex-spouse, which would shift the tax burden to the recipient. But that’s just one idea. Attorneys working with divorce cases have studied hard to make sure they understand the new laws to pass on the best advice to clients.