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GOP Tax Bill

Regardless of your political opinion, the GOP tax bill currently before the House of Representatives has a provision that could concern individuals in Domestic Relations Court. Currently, spousal support payments are tax-deductible from an individual’s gross income on their federal tax returns. The party that receives support payments must claim the payments as additional income. Under the current tax bill before the House of Representatives, the party paying spousal support would not be able to deduct the payments from their gross income.[1] In addition, the party receiving spousal support would not have to claim the support payments on their tax returns as income. In the past, the spousal support deduction has made spousal support negotiations somewhat easier for the party paying the support to stomach. Particularly in Ohio, spousal support is a big issue in many divorces. Since Ohio does not have a formula to calculate the proper amount of spousal support, Courts have a wide range of discretion to formulate a spousal support amount in each case. Without this tax deduction, parties paying spousal support will have less of an incentive to settle spousal support negotiations. As a result, many more spousal support cases may be litigated instead of settled in the future if this bill passes as it is currently written.

[1]

See page 122 of the H.R. 1 Bill. https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/11/02/us/politics/document-Read-the-G-O-P-Tax-Bill.html

 

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