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Update on a hot-button divorce issue in New Jersey, nationally

We always seek to provide our readers across New Jersey with timely and relevant information concerning important family law topics.

In keeping with that goal, we duly note that an update on a key divorce issue is sometimes warranted, which is why today’s blog post focuses squarely on alimony.

We last visited that subject matter in our November 6 post entry, noting therein that the demise of a key alimony-linked benefit “could now be on the near horizon, given a recent congressional bill.”

The potential change we spoke of seems far more imminent now just a few weeks in the wake of House-authored legislation seeking to eliminate tax deductions for alimony (also commonly termed spousal support) payers.

The U.S. Senate has now concluded tinkering on its draft addressing the same matter, and a so-called “final version” of an overriding tax plan including the potential alimony change is scheduled for a vote in Congress this week.

The implications of passage without further changes would be material, indeed. Many alimony payers obviously value highly the opportunity to deduct support payments on their tax returns. Reportedly, about 600,000 of them do just that each year.

If the would-be law is enacted as legislation following President Trump’s endorsement (which he has strongly pledged), payers in divorces finalized after December 31, 2018, would no longer be able to claim a support-linked tax benefit.

Will that materially play into their thoughts regarding divorce and important negotiations that surround it?

Some commentators duly stress that a no-deduction rule will unquestionably be a factor in some divorce discussions and outcomes.

Others, though, downplay a scenario in which such a change alone will affect divorces in any major way.

“I don’t anticipate this to be a big deal at all,” says one analyst.

Time will tell, of course, in the event the bill actually becomes law.

An experienced family law attorney who routinely works with diverse clientele in divorce matters can discuss alimony in detail and its potential relevance in a given case.