The new year is time for making resolutions, going back to school or work after the holidays, and filing for divorce. Wait, what’s that last bit? It’s true – January is one of the top months for divorce filings, with the numbers soaring over the previous month. One spouse may have had “getting divorced” on their list of New Year’s resolutions, and many couples want to spend one last holiday season together before dealing with the inevitable. It’s after the start of the year that a spouse may make an appointment with a lawyer to find out what a divorce means for them financially or how child support works. He or she then makes a decision: File for divorce, or stick with the marriage, at least for the time being.
Signs of Trouble
Do you think you might join the ranks of the January divorce filers? It’s one thing if you initiate it, but another if your spouse does and you are taken by surprise. Even if you know your marriage isn’t great, a divorce filing can come out of the blue. Look for certain red flags. Has your spouse started behaving differently? Are you leading primarily independent lives with little togetherness? Is there little communication between the two of you? Is the communication usually unpleasant? Money squabbles are a significant indicator of looming divorce.
So what happens if these problems arise in your marriage? Decide whether you want to work on saving the marriage, or whether it is time to move on. If it’s the former, discuss the situation and see if your spouse will agree to counseling. If the marriage has irretrievably broken down, or your spouse has no interest in continuing it, seek out a divorce attorney and find out what options you have available. Divorce is a difficult decision, especially when children are involved, so you want to ensure the decision you make is the right one for you and your family.
The New Tax Law and Alimony
While alimony falls under state law, the way it is taxed is within the federal purview. The new tax bill was signed into law in late December, and it may increase the number of couples filing for divorce this year. That’s because there are significant changes in the way alimony is taxed, starting in 2019. If a couple is not divorced by December 31, 2018, the spouse paying alimony is no longer eligible for a tax deduction. The recipient spouse no longer must pay taxes on the funds. For either party, that’s exactly opposite of prior alimony treatment by the IRS. People already paying alimony are not affected by the new tax law. It’s possible the loss of the alimony deduction will make divorce negotiations more difficult.
Contact a Divorce Lawyer
If you are considering divorce, you need the services of an experienced divorce attorney who fights for your rights. Call Alison Grant, Attorney at Law at 972-434-0021 or contact her online.