Spouses who have to support an “ex” want to know what it will cost and how long it will last. Spouses who need support want to know how much will be provided and for how long. We understand the need to know “how much.” We recognize the financial impact of paying support to a former spouse who, could be employed, but isn’t. We also can identify with the feeling of being dependent upon the last person you want financial support from.
Long gone are the days of a fact-dependent analysis of a family to determine if an award of “alimony” to the soon-to-be ex-spouse is in order. Today, “spousal support” is set by a legal formula. The spousal support statute now provides for more certainty because the less-moneyed spouse will know how much he or she is entitled to and the moneyed spouse will know how much support he or she will have to pay the less-moneyed spouse. The spousal support statute also takes into consideration child support payments before ordering spousal support.
Spousal support obligations that are created in agreements which are signed after December 31, 2018 are no longer tax deductible to the moneyed spouse on a Federal level. Although there has been a shift in terms of who is ultimately responsible for paying the Federal income tax on spousal support, the change in law does not specify whether the moneyed or recipient spouse’s money is to be used to pay the tax. In other words, the Federal tax on the spousal support could be deducted from the moneyed spouse’s payment before such payment is made to the recipient spouse. Regardless of Federal law, spousal support does remains tax-deductible for New York State and New York City income tax purposes.
The duration of spousal support payments is similarly guided by statute. Under the law, the duration of the spousal support obligation is essentially based upon the length of the parties’ marriage. People can still negotiate the amount and duration of spousal support. For example, spouses sometimes agree to waive spousal support in order to receive a larger share of the marital estate or a lump sum payment – which may or may not have a tax benefit.
We endeavor to find the best solutions for clients who want to move past their divorce. Please contact our office to learn how we can assist you in resolving your support issues, so you can take the next step in your life.