Tag Archives: alimony

How Common Is it for Mothers to Pay Child Support in Illinois?

DuPage County child support attorneyWhile it might be easy to assume that fathers usually end up being the ones paying child support after divorce, the truth these days is much more complicated than that. Although prior views of fathers being the primary breadwinners and mothers being the primary caregivers in the family dynamic were true for many years, this has become less and less common in this day and age. A look at the latest information proves that the times are certainly changing—as are the trends in child support and spousal support.

Latest Developments in Child and Spousal Support Defy Stereotypes

In 1979, the Supreme Court ruled that all alimony must be viewed as gender-neutral. This opened the door to men not always having to be the ones who are financially responsible for spousal maintenance payments after divorce. Since then, the latest developments in child support and spousal support payments alike have progressed in a way that defies stereotypes. For example:

  • The latest trends suggest that more and more women are paying some sort of support to men after divorce. Whether it is child support or spousal maintenance—or both—there has been an uptick in women paying money to their ex-husbands, as reported by many divorce attorneys over the last few years. This is representative of an overall shift in the economy, as not only are both men and women working full time despite being married and having kids, but in some cases, women are even becoming the primary breadwinners. In fact, Pew Research has found that mothers are the primary income earners in four out of 10 families in the United States.
  • As more women pay child support or spousal maintenance, more data is coming in to suggest that men are more likely to fulfill their financial obligations after divorces than women. Within the last decade, some data suggests that while about a quarter of all men failed to make their child support payments, close to 10% more women failed to make those same payments. In other words, the common stereotype of “deadbeat dads” is not always the case.

  • Despite dramatic shifts in family dynamics and the economy in recent years, the majority of child support and spousal maintenance payments are still made by men. Even though all of this new data and information suggests major changes in support payments after divorce, traces of the way things were still remain, with nearly five times as many men having to make support payments to their ex-spouses as women.

Contact a DuPage County Fathers’ Rights Lawyer

The times are changing, and so are family dynamics. Men are not the only ones responsible for spousal maintenance or child support payments. If you are a father or husband who is seeking financial support from your spouse, you have options. Call a Wheaton divorce attorney at 630-871-1002 for a free consultation to discuss your rights as a father and husband. The skilled team at Andrew Cores Family Law Group will give you the legal support and guidance you need.

Sources:

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/more-women-are-now-paying-alimony-and-child-support-2018-05-17-1882442

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/documents/075000050K505.htm

https://www.npr.org/2015/03/01/389945311/who-fails-to-pay-child-support-moms-at-a-higher-rate-than-dads

How Have Divorce Cases Changed Without the Alimony Tax Deduction?

Wheaton spousal maintenance lawyerOn January 1, 2019, a provision of the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 went into effect that will impact divorce cases going forward. This law eliminated the tax deduction for spousal support in divorces finalized on or after that date. The effects of this change to the law are still being felt, and many long-term results have yet to be seen. In many cases, it has required people on both sides of a divorce involving spousal maintenance to be more savvy and resourceful when it comes to reaching a settlement.

How Has the New Law Affected Taxes on Spousal Maintenance?

For many years, maintenance (which is also referred to as spousal support or alimony) was taxed as follows:

  • The spouse paying maintenance would be able to deduct the amount of support payments from his or her taxable income.
  • The spouse receiving maintenance would pay income taxes on the support payments.

Under the new law, there is no tax deduction for the payor of spousal support and no tax on these payments for the recipient. However, this change only applies to divorces that were completed after December 31, 2018. For divorces finalized on or before that date, spousal maintenance will continue to be taxed as it had been previously. In other words, the new law taxes spousal support payments in divorces completed in 2019 or later the same as child support payments.

Strategies Being Employed Under the New Tax Law

While some may see this change in the law as a substantial hindrance to those who pay spousal maintenance and a benefit to those who receive spousal support, the truth is that it may result in lower alimony payments and financial issues for both parties. Without the ability to deduct maintenance payments, a payor may be in a higher tax bracket, leaving them with less overall income to put toward support. Because of this, both parties in many divorce cases may be less willing to negotiate and agree on spousal maintenance payments.

To address these concerns, some divorcing spouses are getting much more creative and resourceful about how they reach spousal support agreements. In many cases, spouses are figuring out ways to reach fair divorce settlements without having the payments made by one party to the other be considered spousal maintenance that is subject to tax guidelines. Some strategies that people may use to lessen the effects of the new law include:

  • Funding alimony through pre-tax retirement accounts
  • Setting up a trust
  • Allocating more marital property through investments

Contact a DuPage County Alimony Lawyer

Changes to the tax laws can have a significant effect on your divorce, and you should be sure to understand the best ways to address these issues and reach a settlement that will meet your ongoing needs. At the Andrew Cores Family Law Group, our Wheaton divorce attorneys can help you determine how to protect your financial interests and ensure that you will be prepared for success as you move on from the end of your marriage. Reach out to us at 630-871-1002 for a complimentary consultation.

Sources:

https://www.isba.org/ibj/2018/12/breakingupishardertodo

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/new-tax-law-eliminates-alimony-deductions-but-not-for-everybody-2018-01-23

https://www.forbes.com/sites/heatherlocus/2019/07/12/minimizing-taxes-in-divorce-without-the-alimony-deduction/#77d7cfa78344

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/12/18/this-checklist-can-help-you-manage-your-divorce-after-new-alimony-tax-rules-go-into-effect.html

What Is Considered When Awarding Maintenance in an Illinois Divorce?

Wheaton spousal maintenance lawyerIf you will be getting a divorce and expect to either receive spousal maintenance or provide spousal support to your former partner, you might want to know what a judge will consider when making a decision about who will owe what in terms of long-term maintenance and alimony. In cases where your and your spouse’s lawyers are working together to come to an agreement through collaborative law or mediation, knowing these factors might be even more helpful to you.

Deciding Factors In Spousal Support Determinations

While the following list is not exhaustive, these are the majority of the major factors taken into consideration when determining whether spousal support should be awarded in an Illinois divorce:

  • Income, which can include:

  • Marital and non-marital property

  • Each party’s needs and earning potential

  • Income-earning difficulties for the spouse expected to provide spousal support, such as:

    • Unemployment

    • Reduction in income or other demotion

    • Bankruptcy

  • Lack of earning potential due to obligations from the marriage, such as:

    • Domestic duties (stay-at-home parenting)

    • Forgoing or delaying education, training, employment, or other professional development and career progression due to the marriage

  • The time it will take for the spouse seeking support to acquire the necessary qualifications to enable self-sufficiency, which will often affect spousal support designations in terms of duration

  • The effects of decisions about parental responsibilities

  • The standard of living the spouses were accustomed to during the marriage

  • The duration of the marriage

  • The tax consequences to both spouses, if any

  • Contributions made by the spouse seeking support to the other spouse’s professional development

  • Any agreements between the spouses, including a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement

In addition, the court (or, in the case of alternative dispute resolution, the spouses and their lawyers) may consider other “just and equitable” factors that should contribute to the final decision regarding spousal support. If maintenance is awarded, the amount and duration of the payments will be determined using formulas defined in Illinois law, and the results will be based on the income earned by both parties and the length of the marriage.

Contact a Wheaton Divorce Attorney

As with most elements of the divorce process, determining the amount of spousal support is a complex and nuanced matter that requires a comprehensive, detailed, and fair review of all relevant factors. To get that kind of thorough and respectful treatment, you will need the assistance of a DuPage County spousal support attorney who has the compassion and skill to guide you down the proper path. Contact Andrew Cores Family Law Group today at 630-871-1002 for a free consultation. We will help you make sure the terms of spousal support are in your favor.

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/documents/075000050k504.htm

https://www.forbes.com/sites/frawleypollock/2019/04/30/alimony-and-child-support-what-judges-consider-about-your-income/#72a47ae21206