Alimony and the New Tax Plan

Alimony and the New Tax PlanMany people have heard alimony will be treated differently under new rules signed into law under the Trump administration.  While these rules don’t go into effect until 2019, it is a good idea to understand the old and the new rules, when considering the timing of a possible divorce.  Having an experienced alimony lawyer on your side can make all the difference.

Different Types of Alimony

In Florida, there are many different types of alimony.  These include the following:

  • Bridge the gap alimony is awarded to assist one party by providing support while making the transition from married person to single person. This type of alimony targets identifiable short-term needs and does not exceed two years in length.
  • Rehabilitative alimony assists a party in becoming self-supportive through either redeveloping previous credentials or skills with an eye towards re-employment or gaining the education, training, or experience necessary to develop the skills and credentials needed to begin employment. This type of alimony ends when the rehabilitation is complete.
  • Durational alimony is provided for a set period of time after a marriage of short or moderate-term duration.  However, courts sometimes order durational alimony following a long-term marriage. Durational alimony supplies a person with economic assistance for a set period of time after the end of the marriage.
  • Permanent alimony is awarded to a person after a long-term marriage (typically 17 years of marriage or more).  However, courts sometimes order permanent alimony for a marriage of lesser length where certain conditions exist.  The purpose of permanent alimony is to provide for needs and necessities of life and commensurate with the lifestyle of the marriage where the party is unable to meet their own financial needs after the marriage.

Alimony can end under certain circumstances.

The Current Alimony Laws and the New Alimony Laws

The types of alimony won’t change under the new laws.  Only the tax consequences for those who pay and receive alimony change.  Currently, people who pay alimony reduce their taxable income by the amount of alimony paid.  In other words, the IRS doesn’t tax money set aside for alimony to the payor.  Also, currently, the person who receives alimony pays tax on the money as if it were income.

Under the new tax plan going into effect in 2019, the person paying alimony pays this out of post taxed funds.  In other words, money earned and set aside for alimony is already taxed by the person who earned the money.  Under the new tax plan, the IRS does not consider alimony taxable income for the person receiving alimony.

For divorces or separations filed before the new law takes effect in 2019, alimony remains as is.  The alimony remains non-taxed income for the payor, and taxable income for the payee.

If You are Considering Divorce

If you are considering divorce, Eric C. Cheshire, P.A., can help.  We focus our practice exclusively on family law so as to best serve our clients and their families.  Alimony is a complicated area of divorce law in Florida.  Let alimony lawyer Eric C. Cheshire work with you to determine your options considering your unique circumstances.  Contact us today at (561) 677-8090 for a consultation.

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