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IL family lawyerAs you may know, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA)—better known as Trump tax reform—will change the way in which spousal maintenance affects taxes. In short, after the new year, the spouse making alimony payments will have to pay more money in taxes, while the spouse receiving alimony payments will have to pay less in taxes. However, a new Illinois law considers these federal tax law changes and makes it so that the spouse making payments is not as adversely affected as she or he otherwise might have been. We will say more about how spousal maintenance is taxed, and then we will talk about the calculations for spousal maintenance after 2019 when both laws (federal and state) will take effect.

How Spousal Maintenance and Taxation Currently Works

Currently, under Illinois law (750 ILCS 5/504), here is how taxation works when it comes to spousal maintenance: the spouse who makes alimony payments (the payor) can deduct the spousal maintenance payments from his or her income prior to paying taxes, while the spouse who receives alimony payments (the payee) must pay taxes on the spousal maintenance payments in the same way that the spouse would pay taxes on other types of “income.”

However, under the TCJA, the new federal tax law, any divorce that is finalized on or after January 1, 2019 will see a major change when it comes to taxing spousal maintenance. For these divorces, the payor spouse will be required to pay taxes on spousal maintenance payments while the payee spouse no longer will have to pay taxes on spousal maintenance payments received. What is the effect of this? In brief, the payor spouse ends up paying more in the long run, while the payee spouse retains more money and pays less in taxes in the long run. Since the payor spouse earns more money than the payee spouse, the payor spouse’s income typically is taxed at a higher rate. As such, taxing the spousal maintenance payments on the payor’s end in most cases will mean that the taxes are higher and the federal government receives more from that payment in taxes.

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Posted on in Spousal Support

IL family lawyerGetting divorced can take a significant financial toll on any couple or family, especially when just one of the spouses was the primary earner. Whether one spouse stayed at home during the marriage to raise children or simply had a lower earning job, divorce can be extremely difficult when parties begin living on only one income. Alimony, which is known as spousal maintenance under Illinois law, is a term to describe a maintenance payment from one spouse to the other in order to account for substantial differences in income levels as a result of the divorce. Spousal maintenance is not awarded in all divorces, but it is awarded in many of them.

Factors for Awarding Spousal Maintenance in Illinois

In order for one spouse to receive alimony or spousal maintenance from the other spouse, the spouse seeking the maintenance must request it. The first step the court takes when it receives a request for spousal maintenance is to determine whether it is appropriate. In other words, should the spouse who wants maintenance receive it?

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Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, Illinois child custody lawyer,Over the last several years, lawmakers have instituted changes to the Illinois marriage and divorce statute in relation to same-sex marriage and spousal maintenance. Yet those changes only represent a small portion of recent shifts in laws concerning Illinois families. To be sure, the Illinois legislature recently passed a substantial rewrite of our state’s laws when it comes to marriage and divorce, and those new laws will go into effect on January 1, 2016.

It is important for Muslim families in the Oakbrook Terrace area to have a better understanding of the changes to our state’s marriage and divorce laws, and the ways in which those laws can impact family life. It is imperative to understand the major changes being made to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA) in order to best prepare yourself for any issues relating to family law within the state.

No More Grounds for Divorce

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spousal support changes, Islamic divorce lawyer ChicagoStarting January 1, 2015, Illinois made significant changes to its laws regarding spousal maintenance. The formula for determining maintenance underwent significant alteration. This revives an ongoing debate among Muslim scholars and attorneys, however: a non-religious court may order spousal support, but it is generally considered to be haram amongst Islamic faithful. Divorce laws in the United States take precedence over religious laws, but within Islamic law itself, there is a growing trend to argue in favor of maintenance, under the Islamic principle of mut‘at-al-ṭalāq. It is possible for some to reconcile the two bodies of law.

Traditional Rationale

Generally, under traditional Islamic law, post-divorce maintenance was held to be haram because it was seen as an "additional" benefit to the wife. She was said to have “exhausted her share” during the marriage by being fed, clothed and sheltered by her husband. Support was permissible during the three-month religiously imposed waiting period (“‘iddat al-ṭalāq”) but not afterward.

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