Kevin Qualls Family Law
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A gentle reminder about alimony

Like many other states, California courts have the authority to award alimony, sometimes, referred to as spousal support, to one spouse or the other as part of the court's final divorce or separation decree. The idea behind alimony is to make sure that both spouses have the ability to move forward economically following a divorce or separation, as, without alimony, one spouse may wind up with the short end of the stick since she does not have the same earning potential as her spouse.

Since alimony is likely not going anyway in this state any time soon, this is an opportune time to remind Orange County residents that, at the end of the year, how alimony is going to be treated for federal tax purposes is going to change profoundly.

For those divorces and separations that are finalized before the end of the year, the tax treatment of alimony will work just as it has for generations. The person who pays alimony will be able to deduct the payments from her tax returns, and the person who receives alimony will have to report the payments on as income on his returns.

For any decree that gets finalized after December 31, however, alimony will have no effect on one's taxes. A person who pays alimony will not be allowed a deduction, and a person who receives it will not have to count it as income.

How one should respond to these changes will depend heavily on the individual circumstances. For example, while some might see an advantage to getting their alimony finalized quickly, while others may not wish to do so. As such, a strategy should be discussed with one's family law attorney.

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Kevin Qualls Family Law
625 The City Drive South
Suite 470
Orange, CA 92868
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Fax: 714-750-5983
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