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New tax laws may affect Illinois alimony payments

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Divorce is often a difficult prospect, even if the emotional effects are muted or resolved before the legal process. The most important consideration of any divorce of parents is the well-being of any children, while the finances and assets of a marriage are often a close second and require a lot of negotiation.

Lawyers can help guide spouses to an agreeable solution for post-divorce finances or sharing the assets and property acquired during a marriage. Attorneys are able to look out for each person's interests during a divorce and make sure documents are filed appropriately, as well as follow changes in divorce laws.

Tax law changes in the last year may also affect divorce proceedings, especially with the revelation that alimony payments may no longer have the same tax liability as in the past. Former spouses could previously write off alimony, which is generally paid to a spouse with a lower income to maintain an expected standard of living.

If alimony is no longer tax deductible, negotiations may be more difficult because the payers of alimony will no longer enjoy a reduced taxable income. This may also affect recipients of alimony, as there will be less income to divide in alimony agreements. Illinois state guidelines may also require a freshener to make up for federal changes.

Alimony is often an integral part of resolving a divorce and supporting spouses after the process is over. An attorney can help monitor changes to the applicable laws and prepare divorcing spouses to arrange their finances for the phases after a marriage has come to an end.

Source: Chicago Tribune, "What could make divorces more contentious? The new tax law," Ally Marotti, Feb. 22, 2018

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