Tag Archives: alimony

IL divorce attorneyIf you are like other men facing an inevitable divorce, you are likely dealing with a lot of frustration and confusion. Divorce can be a slow and painful process, or it can happen so fast you are not sure how it even came up. Many men assume a lot of things about divorce – whether true or not – simply because of rumors and a lifetime of hearing horror stories about their fathers, uncles, workmates, and others who have been allegedly “fleeced” or “taken to the cleaners” by their ex-wives. With so many stereotypes and myths out there, men tend to enter the process already assuming the worst and thinking their situation is hopeless. The good news is, with proper representation, a solid plan, and the determination to make legally sound choices, most men come through divorce just fine.

One area where men are most confused is the subject of alimony (“maintenance,” as it is called in Illinois). If you are truly concerned about how much maintenance you may have to pay or you feel that your wife should be paying maintenance, definitely consider talking to a Hinsdale divorce lawyer today. But before you let your wife’s attorney convince you to sign something waiving alimony, consider this.

Maintenance Has Nothing to Do with Gender

It seems most people intuitively already know this, but the myths and stereotypes are just so powerful. But it is true. There is no statute, no regulation, no jury instruction, and not a single court decision in modern times that says men must pay maintenance or that women should not. It is simply not part of the equation. To be sure, there is nothing in the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act at 750 ILCS 5/457 that mentions which gender should receive or pay maintenance.

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IL divorce lawyerThe new tax law that went into effect at the start of 2019 harms women in a variety of ways. From lower spousal support payments to higher taxes due to children not qualifying as a deductible, the so-called “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” can have serious consequences for women and men getting divorced in 2019, and those who are planning to modify an agreement as well.

Alimony Is No Longer a Tax-Free For the Payee

Under the new tax rules, spousal support is no longer tax-deductible for the spouse who pays it. While the new law gets rid of the rule that made alimony as taxable income for the lower-earning spouse, the fact that it is not tax-deductible for the paying spouse means that there is overall less money for the lower-earning spouse.

Tax Deductions for Having Children

Tax exemptions reduce a spouse’s taxable income. The previous tax law included a $4,050 exemption for each dependent, which the new tax law has entirely eliminated. This means that many single mothers will have a taxable income equivalent to $4,050 more than in years past, which can have serious negative consequences. For a mother with two children, her taxable income will now be $8,100 greater. On the other hand, the child tax credit was doubled from $1,000 to $2,000 under the new law, and more families will now qualify because the income thresholds have been significantly reduced. To qualify for the child tax credit, the child must have lived with that parent for at least half of the year. While a parent can now receive up to twice the amount as before under the new law, the significant increase in taxable income due to child tax deductions means that many single mothers may have to stretch the budget even diligently.

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IL divorce lawyerIf your divorce finalized on or before December 31, 2018, anyone paying alimony can claim spousal maintenance expenses to receive a tax deduction. Additionally, the recipient of the alimony will declare their payments as taxable income. However, new laws swept the nation affecting divorce judgments and modifications as of January 1, 2019. Here is how the new rules will affect you.

The Party Making Payments

If you finished signing the divorce settlement last year, the new tax laws do not pertain to you. Anyone just tying up the loose ends of their divorce or making modifications this year need to know that, going forward, any alimony paid is no longer tax-deductible.

How much you spend is also different with new calculation guidelines. Previously, maintenance payments were calculated by subtracting 20% of the recipient’s gross income from 30% of the gross income of the payor, capping out at 40% of the total combined gross income of both parties. One new change uses net income rather than the previous gross income standard. Today, a spousal maintenance payment is calculated by subtracting 25% of the recipient’s net income from 33.33% of the payor’s net income.

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IL divorce lawyerFormerly referred to as alimony, spousal support is intended to provide a spouse with lower income or lower income potential with financial support after a divorce. Prior to awarding spousal support to a spouse, the court considers several factors including the age of each spouse, the couple’s standard of living during the marriage, the assets and income of each spouse, sacrifices a spouse made to support the other spouse’s career or education, and the present and future earning capacity of each spouse.

While most people understand the basics of spousal support, many wonder when it ends. Read on to find the answer to this question.

Events That May End Spousal Support

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Illinois divorce lawyerDivorce is difficult for all mothers. However, stay at home mothers going through a divorce face unique challenges as they are forced to figure out how to support themselves and their children financially without their ex-spouse’s income. If you are a stay at home mom going through a divorce, these tips can assist you in surviving on your own.

Create a Budget

To create a budget, start by compiling a list of all of the monthly expenses you will have once your divorce is finalized. By doing so, you’ll understand how much money you will need each month to support yourself and your children.

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