Alimony, gender and taxes

Long gone are the days when getting a divorce is an unusual thing for couples in Massachusetts but simply the act of getting divorced is not the only thing that has changed over the past several decades. Even the face of divorce itself looks different today than it once did.

A generation or more ago, it could all but be assumed that the husband would move out of the home and pay both child support and spousal support after a divorce. That is not so in all divorces today. As explained by MarketWatch, more are actually paying alimony to their ex-husbands and making regular child support payments to live up to their financial responsibilities of parenting.

A survey by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers saw 45% of respondents indicate they had witnessed more former wives accepting the need to pay spousal support between 2015 and 2018 than before then. During that same time, 54% of the lawyers said they noticed an uptick in the number of mothers required to pay child support.

Bloomberg notes, however, that further changes to alimony agreements in divorces may well be on the horizon due to the new Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that went into full effect this year. Instead of providing a tax deduction to the spouse who must pay alimony, that person now has to pay the federal income tax on the money they fork over to their former spouse. This may well give rise to more creative property division agreements in lieu of alimony payouts for future divorces.


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