Saunders Law Group

What is alimony, and how is it changing in 2019?

Alimony, which is also called spousal support, is a payment one spouse is sometimes ordered to pay the other spouse after divorce. This is intended to provide financial help after the divorce for the spouse who makes less money.

When determining how much, if any, alimony should be awarded, the court considers several factors. Some of those considerations include the standard of living before the divorce, the length of the marriage, the income-earning capacity of each spouse and the time needed to get the education or training for employment.

What are the different types of alimony?

Florida has six different types of alimony, which include:

  • Temporary alimony. This is intended to help cover household expenses during the divorce process.
  • Bridge-the-gap alimony. This form of alimony is awarded when one spouse needs help to transition from being married to being unmarried.
  • Rehabilitative alimony. This is awarded to help one spouse get the education or skills needed for employment.
  • Lump sum alimony. This type of alimony is an agreed-upon amount paid at once or in installments.
  • Permanent periodic alimony. This involves providing for a spouse’s needs based on standards set during the marriage and typically does not end until one spouse dies or the spouse receiving alimony is remarried.
  • Durational alimony. This is usually applied to short marriages, and the support does not continue longer than the length of the marriage.

How is alimony changing?

Starting in 2019, alimony that is paid will no longer be tax-deductible. Also, alimony received will no longer be taxable.

These changes could raise $6.9 billion for the government over the next decade, but may make the divorce process more difficult, according to a recent Forbes article. The article predicts the spouse who makes more money will fight more aggressively to pay less alimony, while the spouse who makes less money will fight more aggressively to get awarded more alimony.

if your divorce was finalized before 2019, you need not worry. Your situation will not be affected by this change, unless your agreement is modified in or after 2019.

Although the tax implications of alimony will be a significant change in 2019, many of the other considerations for alimony will remain unchanged. Being well informed on how alimony is calculated, the types of alimony available and tax changes to alimony payments will help you to better advocate for your best possible outcome.

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