New Tax Treatment of Maintenance and Implications for Divorcing Couples

//New Tax Treatment of Maintenance and Implications for Divorcing Couples

New Tax Treatment of Maintenance and Implications for Divorcing Couples

New Tax Treatment of Maintenance and Implications for Divorcing Couples by Deborah E. Kaminetzky

There is a lot of buzz lately about possible changes to the tax treatment of Spousal Maintenance. The silver lining in the spousal maintenance cloud is that the payor can take the amount off their taxes as a deduction. The person who receives the maintenance has had to pay the taxes on it as income.

With the new proposed House tax law, that may change. This makes a huge difference when negotiating a settlement—it is not as palpable without the deduction on the table. Parties may decide that they want to try to negotiate for less maintenance and more child support or different amounts of equitable distribution. It will also be interesting to see what happens in litigated cases as New York recently (in 2016) instituted maintenance guidelines. It is possible that these may be revised if the tax law actually changes. A court may also have to take into account the fact that the moneyed spouse paying the maintenance will no longer get the deduction and therefore the balance will be off a bit.

There are other possible changes to the tax law that may affect divorcing couples—whether litigated, negotiated, or mediated—that they should be aware of. Some of these include changes to the number of years you must own your home prior to selling it in order to exclude the gain from the sale and the ability to provide childcare for children under the age of 13 when their parent is working on a tax-free basis. The proposed new law would tax the benefit provided by the employer as regular income. And even though we always advise our clients to consult a tax preparer or CPA prior to signing an agreement as we do not provide tax advice, that fee may no longer be tax deductible under the proposed new law.

The landscape is ever-changing and new information will be provided to our readers as it becomes available!

Stay tuned next week for information about the recently proposed Senate Tax Plan. Contact me with your questions.

Deborah E. Kaminetzky


Deborah E. Kaminetzky, Esq.
Kaminetzky Law & Mediation, P.C.
132 Spruce Street
Cedarhurst, New York 11516
Phone: 516.374.0074

By | 2018-10-15T15:51:59+00:00 November 9th, 2017|Divorce Law|0 Comments

About the Author:

Deborah E. Kaminetzky
Deborah E. Kaminetzky is the founder of Kaminetzky Law & Mediation, P.C. located in Long Beach, New York. Prior to starting the firm Deborah worked at a Long Island firm where she learned the practice of Matrimonial and Family law and Estate Planning. Deborah has also worked at the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs where she was responsible for prosecuting unlicensed home improvement contractors and negotiating settlements for consumers. Prior to practicing law, Ms. Kaminetzky was the president of a commercial property management corporation in the New York Metro area. Ms. Kaminetzky is a member of the National Association of Divorce Professionals, New York State Council on Divorce Mediation, Family and Divorce Mediation Council of Greater New York, New York State Bar Association (Business Law, Estate, Family Law, ADR and General Practice Sections), Nassau County Bar Association (where she serves as Chair of the General, Solo and Practice Management Committee and The Nassau County Women’s Bar Association. Ms. Kaminetzky was appointed to the Committee on Law Practice Management of the New York State Bar Association in 2015 and has been a frequent speaker and author of articles for their journal. Ms. Kaminetzky serves on the Board of Directors of the Yashar Attorney and Judges Chapter of Hadassah as a their Treasurer, and was their Woman of the Year 2012 and Leadership award honoree in 2019. Deborah graduated from New York Law School in 1991 and the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor in 1986. Ms. Kaminetzky was admitted to the First Department in 1991 and the United States Supreme Court Bar in February of 2015. Deborah is on the Matrimonial fee dispute arbitration panel for Nassau County. She expanded her alternative dispute resolution practice by completing a Mediation certificate program in December of 2013, an advanced Mediation certificate program in 2015 and most recently a Divorce Mediation certificate in early 2016 from The New York Peace Institute. Ms. Kaminetzky has spoken to various groups on topics including matrimonial law, technology and social media use, and disaster preparedness for business including cybersecurity.

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