233 W. Wilson Street, Batavia, IL, 60510

IRS Rules Regarding Spousal Support

Posted on in Spousal Maintenance

alimonyThe month of April may signal the arrival of spring, but it is also the deadline for most people to file their taxes. For couples who have gone through or are in the midst of a divorce, there are several issues which may come up that could have a significant issue on federal income taxes. One of those issues is spousal support, and unlike child support, spousal support is considered to be taxable income according to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

Under the tax laws, any payment that meets the falling criteria is considered to be spousal support and therefore, the receiving spouse needs to claim it as income on their tax return:

  • The spouses will be filing separate, not joint, tax returns;
  • The payments made by one spouse to the other are “cash” payments. It is important to note that payments can be made via checking account, bank check, or money order;
  • One spouse is making the payment to their former spouse;
  • The spouses do not live in the same residence while these payments are made;
  • The payments are separate from child support payments, and they also have nothing to do with any property settlement which may have been awarded to the spouse in the divorce settlement;
  • There is nothing in the divorce decree (or legal separation agreement) which specifies that the payments are not spousal support payments;
  • If the spouse receiving the payments dies, there is no legal requirement for the spouse who is paying to continue to make those payments.

Whereas the spouse who is receiving the spousal support is required to pay taxes, the spouse who is required to make those payments is allowed to use those funds as a tax deduction. In order to take the deduction, the IRS does require that the receiving spouse’s social security number be included. Their tax ID could also be used instead. If the paying spouse fails to provide either number, then the IRS could disallow the deduction. Refusal of the receiving spouse to give their social security number to the paying spouse could result in a tax penalty for the receiving spouse.

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Life after Divorce: Moving Forward

Posted on in Divorce

Illinois child custody attorney, Illinois family law attorney, Illinois divorce lawyer,An Illinois woman’s social media photos that depict her celebrating her divorce have garnered international media attention. The woman hired the original photographer who took her wedding photographs five years ago to document the celebration, which included setting her wedding dress on fire. The woman, who said she was with her ex for a total of 10 years and who she shares a 6-year-old daughter with, said the experience made her “feel free.”

Although setting your wedding dress on fire may feel like an extreme choice to you, there are other steps you can take to help you move forward after a divorce.

Recognize Your Own Value

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Non-Custodial Grandparent and Great-Grandparent Visitation Rights, visitation, family law, child custody, divorce, Kane County family law lawyerThe state of Illinois has updated a number of laws regarding visitation rights. One of these changes that have been in effect since January 1, 2017, is House Bill 5656. This new law states that the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) is now required to make a reasonable effort to accommodate and grant visitation privileges to non-custodial grandparents and/or great-grandparents of a child who is in the care and custody of the DCFS.

The Department is now responsible for specific criteria when determining whether to grant visitation, such as:

  • The DCFS should try and consider whether or not the child would like to visit with their grandparent or great-grandparent.
  • They should determine the child's maturity level. The child may not be able to express how they really feel if they are too young to know the entirety of the situation.
  • Evaluate the overall health of the grandparent or great-grandparent. They may not be in the best shape to travel and see their grandchild.
  • Consider how long each visitation will be, followed by the impact that that specific visitation would have on the child in the long run.
  • The DCFS has the right to deny a request made by a grandparent for visitation after they look over the necessary criteria expressed by the court.

As the years go by, visitation laws will continue to evolve in the state of Illinois. However, one aspect of the legal system that will remain the same is the continued creation of protocols and rules that help encourage grandparents to solve visitation issues outside of the court.

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The Emotional Effects of Divorce

Posted on in Divorce

Illinois child custody attorney, Illinois family law attorney, Illinois divorce lawyer,Divorce is one of the most stressful life experiences. People going through divorce may withdraw from social circles, feel disappointment and rejection, and lose self-esteem. All of these feelings, when coupled with financial and child custody issues, create an extremely stressful time for someone going through a divorce.

On the Holmes-Rahe Stress Inventory Scale, divorce ranks second only after the death of a spouse. Stressful events ranking lower than divorce on the scale include detention in jail, the death of a close family member and major illness or injury. Stress affects mental and physical health in a pronounced way.

Physical Health Effects

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Debt Division in Divorce

Posted on in Property Division

Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family law attorney, Illinois property division attorney,When a couple decides to divorce, it is not only assets that must be divided during the proceedings, but also any marital debt that has accrued. Like with assets, a family court will generally divide debts along equitable lines, meaning that the person who makes more or who has more assets will often be tasked with managing more debt, whether they originally incurred it or not. It may set your mind at ease to better understand the rationales judges use to make such determination, so you can know if you are being unfairly saddled with too much debt.

Illinois Courts’ Common Rationales

When discussing marital assets and debts, equity is the watchword - Illinois is an equitable distribution state, as opposed to a community property state, which means that the courts will divide both marital assets and debts according to each spouse’s ability to pay and the income they make. Generally, it is the fairest approach, as it ensures that each debt is assigned to the person who is most likely to pay it.

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