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Alimony front and center in new congressional bill

We have commented in some past blog posts that the unique nature of every family makes cookie-cutter strategies and solutions virtually worthless in most family law matters.

And that is simply a flat-out truth, given that the particulars surrounding important things like parenting plans/visitation, child support and fair asset distribution necessarily vary from family to family.

Alimony, too, is a case in point. We note on our website that, for many reasons, the payment of alimony (also termed spousal support) “may or may not be part of an overall divorce settlement.” Whether a divorce settlement should include alimony will usually depend upon “several factors” that we can readily discuss with any Massachusetts resident interested in the subject.

That discussion could conceivably feature a new dimension shortly, if recently proposed legislation in the U.S. Congress is signed by President Trump. The president is firmly on board with the alimony-related particulars of a broad tax bill introduced last week in the House of Representatives, stating that he expects to affix his signature to new law “before Christmas.”

The key thrust of what supporters are pushing for regarding alimony is this: the elimination of the alimony tax deduction that is currently claimed by legions of former spouses making payments to their ex-partners.

What effect might such a change practically have?

Commentators are quick to chime in, with one analyst stating that alimony might quickly move off the negotiating table in many divorce proceedings, especially high-asset dissolutions.

Another legal insider predicts that enactment of the alimony deduction repeal into law “will change the landscape” for divorce.

It’s all a bit premature for definitive assessments at this point, of course, given the usual give-and-take that legislation is subjected to on Capitol Hill before it becomes law — in, in fact, it ever does achieve that status.

Alimony will always be a case-specific topic that is highly personal and driven by unique variables in every case. An experienced family law attorney can offer guidance and strong legal representation regarding any aspect of spousal support.

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