How The New Tax Law Affects Alimony Payments: A Three-Part Blog Series

filing for taxesDivorce agreements are impacted by several factors, one of which is the new tax law. Because of the new law, the spouse paying alimony won’t be able to take a deduction, while the spouse receiving alimony will no longer have to report it as income.

Some experts are predicting an increase in divorces, as the spouse paying alimony may try to take advantage of the current deduction before it’s eliminated.

At this time, it’s hard to pinpoint the exact implications of the new tax law. However, if you’re wondering if you should modify your spousal support before the law takes effect, it’s important to know the reasons why a judge may grant a support modification. Currently, to modify the spousal support agreement a judge reviews:

1. If there have been unanticipated or substantial changes

2. The original purpose of the award

3. Any changes in income

In the first part of this three-part series, we’ll review what’s considered an unanticipated change that could result in a support modification.

In Oregon, spousal support is modifiable. The party who desires the change must show a substantial, unanticipated change in economic circumstances. For example, if the spouse paying support loses their job, the court may reduce the amount of alimony they pay. In contrast, if the spouse receiving support has an increase in their income, the court may decrease the amount of financial support.

Spousal support could also be terminated altogether if the person receiving alimony gets a job which provides enough income to support themselves.

If you are wondering if you could modify your agreement, you will want to talk with an attorney like those at Pacific Cascade Legal who are skilled at spousal support modifications. The laws are complicated and the lawyers at Pacific Cascade Legal are experts in finding the best outcome for their clients.

In our next blog, we will discuss how the purpose of the award plays a role in spousal support modifications.