Alimony? How the New Tax Law May Affect You
If you and your spouse are considering divorce in Tampa, FL, then you should be aware of the new tax law. The new tax law may have an impact on your finances, specifically, alimony. If you feel the new tax law may have a significant effect on your divorce terms, consider speaking with a Florida family lawyer at The Law Offices of Patricia Palma, P.A.
Under previous tax law, the court would assess a variety of factors. In some cases in Florida, courts award alimony to the spouse who earns less money. The spouse responsible for paying alimony could then claim those payments as a tax deduction, while the receiving spouse was required to report the payments as taxable income.
How Does the New Tax Law Affect You?
Under the recent tax changes, alimony payments can no longer be deducted on the payer’s tax return and the recipients of alimony do not have to report them as taxable income. For example, if a spouse makes $80,000 per year and pays $10,000 in alimony, their taxable income remains at $80,000.
However, if you are already paying alimony, the new tax laws will not affect you at all. This new tax law goes into effect on January 1st, 2019, meaning those who have filed for divorce or separation by December 31st, 2018 will not be affected by this new alimony-related law.
What are the Different Types of Alimony?
In Florida, courts will consider and offer four different types of alimony. These include:
- Bridge-The-Gap Alimony – Supports a party transitioning from marriage to single life. This type of alimony is for short-term needs and may not exceed two years in duration.
- Rehabilitative Alimony – Awarded with the goal of assisting a spouse in becoming self-sufficient by either renewing or obtaining skills or credentials.
- Durational Alimony – Provides economic assistance for a specific period of time, not to exceed the length of the marriage. Courts award Durational Alimony when they find some alimony necessary but permanent alimony appropriate.
- Permanent Alimony – Meets the needs of the party that is consistent with the lifestyle lived during the course of the marriage. Limited circumstances exist where courts consider Permanent Alimony appropriate.
What are the Factors Courts Consider in Assessing Alimony?
In Florida, courts consider a number of factors in determining whether alimony is necessary and how much should be offered. These factors include:
- A married couple’s standard of living
- Length of the marriage
- Age, physical, and mental conditions of the spouses
- Each spouse’s financial resources
- Each spouse’s earning capacity
- The contribution of each spouse to the marriage
- Responsibilities to minor children
- Tax consequences of alimony
- Sources of income; as well as any other factor the court deems necessary
If you are considering divorce and think that you may be required to pay alimony, feel free to make an appointment with a family law attorney soon.
Those who are thinking about filing for divorce should speak to a qualified Florida family lawyer about both current and future laws and the various ways to proceed.
With 19 years of experience practicing family law, The Law Offices of Patricia Palma, P.A. offers high-quality legal counsel in all Tampa, FL family law matters. If you have questions regarding divorce in Tampa, FL and how the new tax law can affect your alimony payments, contact The Law Offices of Patricia Palma, P.A. at 813-258-3211 or contact us online to schedule a meeting at our Tampa office.
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