New tax laws for alimony will take affect in 2019

On behalf of South Tampa Law Group posted in alimony on Monday, December 24, 2018.

It is an unfortunate fact that some marriages don’t last forever. Divorce proceedings can be difficult on Florida families, especially when it is time to determine how to handle financial agreements between former spouses. In an earlier post, we discussed how new tax laws will affect couples next year when handling alimony payments. However, there are steps that divorcing couples can take in order to deal with these changes.

The dawning of the new year will change tax laws in relation to alimony for the first time in decades. Though alimony payments used to be tax-deductible for the paying ex-spouse, and considered taxable income for the receiving ex-spouse, this will no longer be the case. There has been a rush to divorce before the end of the year, but experts warn that those who haven’t yet filed will likely not be able to finalize the necessary agreements before 2019. Luckily, there are ways to navigate these new tax laws to create as positive an outcome as possible.

First, look at other changing tax laws, such as mortgage interest deductions, or child tax credits. Depending on a divorcing person’s personal situation, either of these categories could change a person’s tax burden considerably. Some divorcing couples could make use of property division instead of alimony payments, since property division is a nontaxable event. Bankruptcy could negatively affect these types of payments, so people considering this option will want to be cautious. Also, one ex-spouse could pay a lump sum of money to the other ex-spouse, rather than recurring payments.

Whatever route divorcing couples in Florida decide to pursue, an experienced attorney could make a world of difference for his or her client. It could be difficult to determine what is best for everyone, and a professional can assist with decisions regarding alimony that might otherwise be unclear. Ideally, an amicable agreement could be reached that would help everyone involved move forward to a brighter future.