In Illinois as elsewhere, divorce is not an easy time. A lot gets that thrown at a person fast. And often the person is not in the best situation for handling the onslaught. One issue that can get overlooked once the divorce has made it into the books is taxes.
When Illinoisans get divorced, it causes ripples across each spouse's life. There are the ripples people expect, like resolving child custody and splitting the marital assets. And then there are the ripples that people often overlook, like the tax effects of paying alimony. Below are a few explanations on how alimony affects Illinoisans' federal tax returns.
When Illinoisans say "I do," they expect it to last. But no matter how good their intentions, or how great their effort to make it work, not all marriages can last forever. Life happens, people change, circumstances shift, difficulties pile up. When the strain of life becomes too great, relationships sometimes snap.
Many Illinoisans serve in the military. That calling is an important one, but with it comes unique challenges. For instance, many service members serve extended deployments overseas. These deployments can strain families and prompt family law problems, especially for Illinois service members who owe child support.
Imagine the following scenario: an Illinois couple has a child together. They split up; one parent gets custody of the child, and the other pays child support. A few years later, the parent paying child support falls on hard times and files for bankruptcy. What effect does the bankruptcy have on the parent's child-support obligation?
In Illinois and elsewhere, when parents split a gaggle of issues can arise. One of those is child support. Usually child support follows statutory guidelines that require the parent who does not live with the child (that is, the noncustodial parent) to pay child support. The amount will be determined through a child support formula. If the noncustodial parent fails to make good on the obligation, the state may be able to step in and force payments by garnishing wages, taking tax refunds and more.
As a general rule, Illinois couples get married because they love each other. And they get divorced because they no longer do or, worse, they can no longer stand each other's company. That is hardly a recipe for a smooth, unemotional divorce process.
Child support must be paid -- even when it is hard to come up with the money. Failure to do so hurts not only the child, but the parent failing to pay, because of the penalties the state of Illinois will impose.
For many Illinoisans going through a divorce, it can be easy to focus on the past. It can be easy to think about the happy first act and the less happy second act. But Illinoisans should not mire in the muck of what went wrong and how they were wronged. Instead, they should do the exact opposite -- they should have a laser focus on the future.
Many Illinoisans know Ludacris for his rapping and acting. But a few also know him for his recent spate of highly public child-custody and child-support battles with his former girlfriend over their child. Many of those battles have been ugly, leaving the rapper's reputation in tatters as a deadbeat dad. Now Ludacris finds himself under attack again, this time for getting married.