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Spouses Request Accelerated Divorces in Light of the TCJA Deadline


On December 22, 2017, President Trump signed the controversial Tax Cuts & Jobs Act into law. This aggressive and sweeping tax legislation is eliminating personal exemptions, making significant changes to income tax rates, and ultimately reforming many divorce and family law standards. As a result, many spouses are scrambling to finalize their divorces before the December 31, 2018 deadline hits.

In 2019, the TCJA can impact divorcing spouses in the following ways:

  • Judges are expected to start awarding smaller alimony payments
  • Alimony payments are no longer tax deductible
  • Alimony is tax-free for the recipient
  • Personal and dependent exemptions are eliminated
  • Standard deductions are increased
  • The child tax credit is doubled to $2,000
  • The refund guidelines regarding the child tax credit have changed

These tax changes are expected to severely impact divorced couples in many unforeseen ways. Because couples have been warned about the impending changes by their legal representatives, they have been rushing to complete the divorce process in time.

California law states that couples can only finalize their divorce if it’s been 6 months since they initially filed their paperwork. Since June, local divorce lawyers and judges have been struggling to keep up with the number of desperate people who are trying to complete their marital settlement agreements in time. According to Karen Dalton, spokeswoman for the San Diego Superior Court, “We will take actions needed to process judgements at the end of the year depending on the numbers coming in. We don’t have the funds to hire more clerks, so if we need resources, they will have to be shifted from other areas.”

Have Questions? Contact an Experienced Divorce Attorney

Contact the Fresno divorce lawyers at Arnold Law Group, APC if you have any questions about how the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act may affect your divorce. Our firm has been helping clients successfully navigate the divorce process for over 30 years. We recognize that it’s our responsibility to stay up-to-date on any changing laws that impact divorce and family law matters.

Contact Arnold Law Group, APC at (559) 900-1263 to schedule a consultation. We can explore your legal options, discuss the new laws, and discuss which steps you should take to establish a favorable marital settlement agreement.

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