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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.

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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.

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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:

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DuPage County postnup lawyerIn a previous blog post, we discussed some reasons that you may want to sign a prenuptial agreement before getting married. But what if you are already married? In these cases, you may consider a postnuptial agreement. However, you may be unsure of when this type of agreement is appropriate. There are some reasons that you may want to consider discussing this type of agreement with your spouse.

Why Should You Sign a Postnuptial Agreement?

Most everyone has heard of a prenup, and these types of agreements have become increasingly more common. However, as their name implies, prenuptial agreements can only be signed before getting married. For those who are already married, a postnuptial agreement can function in a similar fashion, and it can include decisions about a couple’s marriage and their potential divorce. A postnup can address the division of property and debt and the allocation of investments and retirement funds, and it can modify or eliminate a spouse’s right to receive alimony/spousal support.

There are many reasons to sign a postnuptial agreement, and some of them are actually quite surprising. Here is a look at why you might want to sign a postnup:

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Posted on in Divorce

DuPage County prenup lawyerIt might seem like a cynical thing to contemplate prior to your wedding, but before getting married, you should consider drafting and signing a prenuptial agreement. Prenuptial agreements, or “prenups,” are less of a way to imply doom and gloom for your future marriage and more of a smart method to prepare yourself for the worst-case scenario: divorce. Prenuptial agreements enable you to decide on many of the terms of your divorce at the start of your marriage—this includes division of property and division of debtallocation of investments and retirement funds; and determination of alimony/spousal support.

Why Should You Sign a Prenup?

At one time, prenups were more common among wealthier people who had more assets with which to negotiate. These days, however, they are becoming more common for a wide variety of people, including millennials who are trying to protect themselves from the possibility of divorce in the future. Since divorce is so much more common now than it was in years past, it makes sense to safeguard against it with a prenuptial agreement.

There are myriad reasons to sign a prenuptial agreement, and many of those will ultimately depend on your particular situation. In general, some convincing reasons to use a prenuptial agreement are:

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