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The new tax overhaul will remove a 75-year-old tax deduction for alimony payments. The new rule will not affect anyone who divorces prior to 2019; however, it will certainly change divorce negotiations.

What’s changing? Currently, the spouse paying alimony can deduct it from their taxes and the spouse receiving the alimony pays taxes on it. The idea is that the payer is generally in a higher tax bracket. Thus, with the alimony deduction, they are paying less tax. The payee is generally in a lower tax bracket, and pays less tax on the income received. The current setup preserves more money amongst the ex-spouses. The new rules will result in alimony recipients receiving 10-15% less than what they would receive under the current law, and more money to be paid in taxes.

For more information on the consequences of the tax changes, contact SMDA, PC at (586) 264-3756.

While the overall divorce rate is decreasing, the divorce rate for people over the age of 50 has increased from 1 in 10 to 1 in 4.

MarketWatch created a checklist to help mitigate the financial risk associated with divorce over age 50. Below is a list of items to consider, prior to filing for divorce:

1.) The family home. Should either party keep the home, can one person alone take care of the costs and potential repairs?

For 2018, the estate tax exemption has increased to $5.6 million per individual, increased from $5.49 million in 2017. Thus, a married couple will be able to shield $11.2 million from federal estate and gift taxes.

The annual gift tax exclusion has finally increased to $15,000, after remaining at $14,000 since 2013.

For more information about the estate and gift tax limits, contact SMDA, P.C. at (586) 264-3756.

A canadian couple was able to agree on the majority of their divorce terms; however, they had to have a judge decide who would get their Edmonton Oilers season tickets. Beverly and Donald McLeod separated in 2015, with Donald agreeing to pay Beverly $15,000 per month in spousal support. However, the couple needed a court order to determine what to do with the hockey tickets that the couple had shared for the past 11 years.

Generally, it is in your best interest to sit down with your spouse and try to come to a resolution of all outstanding issues. If you are both involved in the property division process, there is more flexibility and satisfaction with the outcome, as opposed to having a judge make a decision where both parties feel like they “lost.”

For more information on handling property division, contact our office for a free consultation.

Family law is making headlines this week, as a Hawaii mom faces jail time for illegally taking her son to Japan, amid a bitter custody battle. Eileen Tojo took her infant son and three other children from another father from Oahu to Japan for four and a half years during a bitter custody dispute, even though the court ordered her to keep the boy in Hawaii. As a result, she is facing up to five (5) years in prison.

The headline serves as a reminder that there are serious consequences for failing to abide by a court order.  If you fear for your safety, or want to leave the state with your child(ren), you need to follow the proper steps. Most of the time, that would require filing a motion and having the judge grant an order allowing a move or change in custody/parenting time.

For more information on removing your child from the State, contact our office for a free consultation.

Currently, spousal support is tax deductible for the payer, and taxable for the payee. However, a proposed change in the tax reform bill would eliminate the tax deduction for spousal support and make alimony income tax-free to the recipient for divorce judgments that are executed after December 31, 2017.

Currently, in most cases, the spouse paying alimony is in a considerably higher tax bracket than the spouse receiving the support. The difference between the tax brackets provides a benefit to the spouse paying the alimony and a benefit to the one receiving it. The difference in tax rates has been a large factor in negotiating settlements, especially to the party that will be paying support.

If the provision goes into effect, negotiating spousal support will certainly change.

If you have a family business, you will want to have a plan in the event of death or divorce of any of the partners. Not only will you need to plan – but you will need to plan early. Valuing businesses and determining which percentage will be awarded to the non-owner spouse in a divorce is very costly and time consuming.

There are several “tools” that business owners can use to avoid common problems:

1.) Prenuptial Agreement. The single most effective tool is to deal with the issue while a couple is on good terms. In a best case scenario, the non-owner spouse will waive any interest in the business. When negotiating a pre-nuptial agreement, it is essential that both parties have counsel of their own, and that there is full disclosure by both parties.

Divorce is in the news this week, as Miguel Cabrera is involved in a divorce proceeding with his soon-to-be ex-wife Rosangel Cabrera. Cabrera has been married for fifteen (15) years, and met his wife in high school. However, the couple is calling it quits.

Rosangel Cabrera filed for divorce, stating that the relationship with baseball star husband, Miguel Cabrera, was “irretrievably broken.” The case was filed in Miami-Dade County in Florida. Had the case been filed in Michigan, the basis for divorce would have been that there has been a breakdown in the marriage relationship, to the extent that the objects of matrimony have been destroyed, and there remains no reasonable likelihood that the marriage can be preserved. As a no fault state, the party filing for divorce does not need a specific reason, and relies solely on the aforementioned statutory language in order to grant a divorce.

According to player statistics, the 2017 baseball season has been the worst year of Miguel’s professional career. Although Miguel has injuries contributing to his shortfalls in his career, this also shows the emotional toll that divorce takes on both parties throughout the divorce process. It is our goal to minimize the stress of a divorce, and resolve the case as efficiently as possible.