Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in alimony

Posted on in Divorce

IL divorce lawyerMarriage is known to be one of the few opportunities to reduce your tax payments. Once married, spouses can file a joint tax return. This obviously changes once the divorce papers are signed and complete. Because your incomes are no longer considered tied, they cannot be filed together whether or not you have children together. For some couples, this makes little difference to them. While for others, the money from a tax return can help keep them afloat. Some couples go so far as staying separated to keep this financial benefit. This is typically not an idea that is suggested by an attorney since tax returns can be unpredictable. Couples that are in the divorce process but have not finalized it yet can still file their taxes together until the year that they are officially divorced. Most people do not consider the effect that divorce will have on their taxes until they have to file for their taxes for the first time post-divorce. Continue reading to learn about the different areas of your tax return that will need to be adjusted after your divorce papers get signed.

Areas of Adjustment

  1. Dependents: This is the area that is most familiar to those that do not work in the financial field. Any child is considered a dependent and must be claimed on tax returns. For those who are divorced, the custodial parent is the only one allowed to claim their child as their dependent. In other words, the parent that spends the most time caring for the child can legally claim the child on their taxes.

  2. Medical Expenses: This is similar to claiming a dependent. If you have a child that has extensive medical expenses, you can legally claim that on your taxes. This is only allowed for the parent who paid for the majority of the expenses, even those that are not considered the custodial parent. Just because you do not house the child does not mean you cannot claim some of their expenses.

  3. Alimony Payments: This is another term for spousal maintenance. If the law is requiring you to pay a significant amount of money to your ex-spouse to help support them, you can legally claim that in your taxes. In a way, this is the most similar alternative to filing jointly.

  4. Asset Shifts: Divorce settlements often result in properties being divided between the two former spouses. This means that these payments also transfer from one hand to the other. On the bright side, the recipient will not be required to pay taxes on the property’s transfer. However, if the recipient decides to sell the property, he/she will have to gains tax on all the appreciation before and after the transaction.

    ...

Illinois divorce lawyerUnder some states’ laws, individuals may waive their right to seek spousal maintenance in their divorces. When an individual or couple chooses to waive this right, they typically include it in their prenuptial agreement. Illinois is not one of these states. In Illinois, spousal maintenance is a right just like child support is a right. However, there are limits to this right. Unless the couple agrees to it, a judge cannot order unallocated spousal maintenance after their divorce. In other words, a judge must include a specific dollar figure in a couple’s spousal maintenance order.

How Is Spousal Maintenance Determined in Illinois?

On January 1, 2015, Illinois’ current spousal maintenance law went into effect. This formula replaced the older way of determining spousal maintenance, which was a set of factors that courts could consider at their discretion to determine an appropriate maintenance amount and period of time over which it would be paid. Now, spousal maintenance is calculated according to a formula that takes both partners’ gross incomes and specific percentages of each to determine an appropriate maintenance amount, not unlike Illinois’ child support formula. The spousal maintenance formula is as follows:

Thirty percent of the higher earning spouse’s annual income minus 20 percent of the lower-earning spouse’s annual income equals the annual maintenance amount.

This formula is not applied to all cases. When a couple’s combined income is $250,000 per year or higher, the court may deviate from the formula to determine an appropriate maintenance amount. If the difference between the figures for the partners used in the formula plus the recipient’s gross income is more than 40 percent of the couple’s combined income, the maintenance amount is reduced to put it at 40 percent of their combined income.

...

Illinois divorce attorneyWhen one spouse chooses to leave the workforce to care for the couple’s home and children or takes on lower paying work than he or she would otherwise be able to perform in order to do so, that spouse may seek spousal maintenance, once known as alimony, as part of the couple’s divorce settlement. Spousal maintenance is designed to prevent a lower earning spouse from experiencing financial hardship following his or her divorce.

Permanent vs. Temporary Spousal Maintenance

In the past, it was far more common for one partner to stay home while the other provided the family’s sole income than it is today. Divorced individuals who stayed home during their marriages were also less frequently expected to reenter the workforce or enter it for the first time after their divorces. These individuals were frequently awarded permanent alimony, which ensured that they received support from their former partners until they remarried or their former partners died.

Today, dual-income households are the norm. Individuals who opt out of the workforce often do so with some years of working experience and may have vocational or college degrees. Because these individuals can support themselves after their divorces, they are generally awarded temporary spousal maintenance. This maintenance provides a “cushion” for the receiver, permitting him or her to complete an education or secure employment before having to financially support him- or herself completely.

There are some cases where permanent maintenance may still be awarded, such as marriages that lasted 20 years or longer or cases where the lesser earning spouse cannot realistically return to the workforce due to age or disability.

...

Illinois divorce lawyer, Illinois alimony attorneyAmong the many questions divorcing spouses have following a separation, questions regarding alimony, also known as spousal maintenance, tend to be a big concern. This is particularly true for stay-at-home parents or spouses who are not the main earners in the household. Taking on greater financial responsibility - or in some cases, any financial responsibility at all - can be a scary thing, especially when one spouse has become accustomed to a certain lifestyle and is suddenly thrust into a new routine.

Alimony’s Nationwide Evolution

As societal roles and career opportunities have changed for both men and women in recent decades, so have the expectations and allowances surrounding spousal maintenance. More women are working now more than ever, and the concept of stay-at-home fathers is far from new. According to Labor Department statistics, nearly three-quarters of women work. In the year 2010, 97 percent of the 400,000 people receiving alimony were women, and that trend has been a continual one.

These statistics have revealed an important fact about alimony and its place in today’s post-divorce world: It seems the majority of alimony recipients continue to be women, but most of those women are actively involved in the workforce during the time of the marriage or become employed following the divorce. As a result, states all throughout the country have been taking these factors into consideration when determining maintenance awards in court rulings.

Is Spousal Maintenance a Sure Thing?

...

Recent Blog Posts

Categories

Archives

Contact Us

How Can We Help?

NOTE: Fields with a * indicate a required field.
*
*
*
AVVO LL BV