Tag Archives: maintenance

How Will Remarriage Affect My Divorce Agreement in Illinois?

DuPage County divorce attorney spousal supportIf you have kids from a prior marriage, then you know that the divorce proceedings are hardly the last time you will hear from your former spouse. There are all sorts of things that you two must continue to work through, especially if your children are under the age of 18, including child supportparenting timeparental responsibilitiesspousal support, and much more. But how will this change if you decide to remarry? Will your new spouse be responsible for any of the parental responsibilities or child support? How will spousal support change? While at one time there was a clear-cut answer to all of these questions, in recent years, there is much more gray area when making some of these determinations in Illinois. The following is a look at how remarriage can change things after your divorce.

Remarriage and Its Impact on Divorce Obligations

With regards to spousal maintenance, the following is true in Illinois:

  • The recipient of spousal support immediately stops receiving spousal support payments the moment that he or she remarries or begins cohabitating in a romantic/conjugal relationship. The receiving spouse is required to immediately notify the spouse who is providing the support payments.

  • The spouse providing the support must continue providing that support if he or she gets remarried.

In terms of child support, things can get even trickier:

  • In recent years, the Illinois courts have been more deliberative on child support issues, considering it on a case-by-case basis. For example, the remarriage could result in the spouse providing child support having significantly more disposable income due to the comingling of funds with the new spouse. This can be taken into consideration should the recipient of the child support payments request a modification of parental responsibility orders to change the child support payment amount.

  • Overall, either spouse can request any modifications to the divorce agreement, including child support and spousal support orders, should the remarriage affect the fair and equitable decisions agreed upon through the divorce process. These orders can also alter the divorce agreement in such a way as to reallocate parental time or responsibilities in addition to finances should the two former spouses mutually agree to such changes.

Contact a Wheaton, IL Divorce Modification Attorney

You might think that remarriage is none of your former spouse’s business, but the truth is remarrying could impact your divorce agreement in ways you might not have anticipated. In cases when you think it might be necessary to modify your divorce decree due to your former spouse’s remarriage, consider speaking with a skilled DuPage County divorce lawyer. The compassionate professionals at Andrew Cores Family Law Group can help make sure you and your ex-spouse can reach a fair and equitable compromise. Call our office today at 630-871-1002 to schedule a free consultation.

Sources:

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

https://www.kiplinger.com/article/retirement/T065-C032-S014-getting-remarried-5-financial-steps-to-take-first.html

https://money.usnews.com/money/personal-finance/articles/financial-considerations-for-remarriage

 

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 Factors Are Considered When Determining Alimony in Illinois?

DuPage County spousal support lawyerAlimony, also called spousal support or maintenance, is a payment from the higher-earning spouse to the lower-earning spouse during divorce or after the divorce has been finalized. There are various forms of spousal support, and these may be awarded based on the needs of the lower-earning spouse and the means of the higher-earning spouse to pay. A few examples of types of spousal support include reimbursement alimony, lump-sum alimony, rehabilitative alimony for vocational training or education, temporary alimony paid during the divorce, and permanent alimony.

In most cases, alimony is not permanent; instead, it is set for a specified length of time and, after that time period ends, the payments will cease. As a potential paying spouse or receiving spouse, you likely have questions about how the court makes a decision about alimony, or how both parties may reach a mutual decision about alimony outside of the courtroom. A skilled DuPage County spousal support attorney can provide all the details you need to know and assist you in reaching an outcome that provides for your financial needs.

How The Court Awards Alimony

According to Illinois statute 750 ILCS 5/504, the following factors are used to determine whether maintenance is appropriate:

  • The income and property of each party
  • The needs of each party
  • The future earning capacity of each party
  • Any potential impairment of the spouse seeking alimony
  • The time necessary for the alimony-seeking spouse to acquire training, education, employment, etc.
  • The standard of living established during the marriage
  • The length of the marriage
  • The age, health, occupation, vocational skills, etc. of each party
  • Other forms of income earned by each party, such as disability
  • The tax consequences of alimony payments for each party
  • Any contributions and services made by the spouse seeking alimony on behalf of the higher earning spouse, such as career advancement and homemaking
  • Any other relevant factors

If the court determines that an alimony award is appropriate, statutory guidelines will be used to determine the amount and duration of spousal maintenance payments. The amount of payments will be based on the income earned by both parties, and the length of time payments will be made will be based on the length of the marriage. However, if the spouses earn a combined gross annual income of $500,000 or more, the court may deviate from these guidelines and award maintenance that it believes is appropriate.

Does the Spouses’ Sex Have Anything to Do With Alimony?

Alimony should never be awarded based on the sex of divorcing spouses. However, middle-aged, married men with at least a high school diploma earn, on average, over $80,000 per year. Married women of the same age earn, on average, roughly $50,000 per year, which is a 40 percent difference. As such, men are more likely to pay spousal support than women. This is a generalization, not a rule; 38 percent of wives earn more than their husbands. In these cases, alimony may be awarded to the husband.

Our DuPage County Alimony Lawyers Can Help

Spousal support is a powerful tool that can provide a lower-earning spouse with a means to education and allow them to maintain the standard of living they have grown accustomed to. On the other hand, as a paying spouse, you likely want to limit the impact that alimony payments will have on your own financial well-being. In either case, the skilled Wheaton spousal support attorneys at Andrew Cores Family Law Group can advocate for your interests and help you reach a positive outcome to your divorce. Call us today at 630-871-1002 to schedule a free consultation.

Sources:

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

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/married-men-earn-more-than-single-or-married-women-and-single-men-2018-09-19