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New Tax Law May Cause Divorce Rush in 2018The recently passed federal tax reform law will do away with the popular alimony tax deduction for all divorces that are completed after Dec. 31, 2018. According to the IRS, about 600,000 people claimed the deduction in their 2015 returns. Spousal maintenance agreements that are created before the end of the year will still be able to claim the deduction in the future. Thus, some couples feel that they are facing a deadline to complete their divorces before the new law goes into effect.

What Changes

With the current tax laws, the person paying spousal maintenance after a divorce can deduct the payments when filing his or her taxes. In turn, the spousal maintenance recipient must report the payments as taxable income. The new tax law makes spousal maintenance payments tax neutral in the same way that child support payments are. The payer will no longer claim the deduction, and the recipient will not pay taxes on it.

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Posted on in Divorce

Handling a Tighter Budget After DivorceOne of the unfortunate consequences of divorce is that neither party will be as financially strong apart as they were together. A divorce will reduce the possessions you already have and the available income you will have moving forward. Child support and spousal maintenance can help recover some of the lost income. However, a court may not intend for it to replicate your marriage income. If you are paying your spouse, the support payments are another drain on your income. Divorcees often must live on a tighter budget, which could be a difficult adjustment for yourself and your children.

Your Expectations

You might not think of yourself as living a life of luxury, but trying to create a budget after your divorce may give you a different perspective. Expenses can escalate either in the quantity of purchases you make or the higher quality of the items or services you purchase. There are several ways you can cut back on expenses to fit your new budget. You can start by determining what are necessary living expenses and what are luxuries. You do not have to give up all of your luxury expenses, but you should understand that there is a price to keeping each one. After you calculate the cost of your accustomed lifestyle, you can determine:

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Posted on in BGL Law
Enforcing Your Support Payments in CourtFormer spouses are usually unhappy about being ordered to pay child support or spousal maintenance after a divorce. The payments may represent significant portions of their incomes. However, courts award support payments due to the recipient's needs, not as a punishment for the payer. When your former spouse fails to make support payments, your financial consequences can be dire. You may need to take your former spouse to court in order to enforce the payments. Depending on the circumstances, the issue can be a civil complaint or a criminal case.

Legal Action

It is possible to agree on reimbursement for missed payments outside of court, but you are more likely to receive full compensation by settling the issue in court. When a person disobeys a court order to make support payments, you can attempt to enforce the order by filing a Petition for Rule to Show Cause. You must send written notice to your former spouse of your action and the upcoming court date. At the hearing, the court will determine whether your former spouse has violated the court order and, if so, the value of the back payments you are owed. The payer may claim an inability to make the payments. While this may lead to modifying the support agreement, he or she is still obligated to reimburse you for the missed payments.

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Posted on in BGL Law

Illinois spousal maintenance guidelines, Crystal Lake divorce lawyerOn August 15th, the Governor signed into law a new set of guidelines for determining how much spousal support, also known as maintenance, spouses would owe as a result of a divorce. The guidelines seek to solve a problem that plagued the old system: spousal support obligations were often very difficult to predict going into a divorce.

The judge would have to set the support amount by examining a set of twelve factors including things like the married couple's standard of living, the duration of the marriage, and the earning capacity of each party. The new law maintains these factors as things judges should look to when determining support, but it introduced more strict mathematical guidelines to determine how much support should be paid and for how long the spouse will pay support.

Calculating Support Amount

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