Why Trump’s tax plan may spur more divorces

The change is an example of how President Donald Trump’s tax law is having far-reaching consequences beyond its corporate and individual tax cuts, in some cases by quietly overturning decades of tax policy.

Republicans may pride themselves on upholding family values, but their new tax law could soon lead to a surge in married couples calling it quits.

Lawyers are counseling couples considering divorce to do it this year — before a 76-year-old deduction for alimony payments is wiped out in 2019 under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

“Now’s not the time to wait,” said Mary Vidas, a lawyer in Philadelphia and former chair of the American Bar Association’s section on family law. “If you’re going to get a divorce, get it now.”

Potential divorcees have all of 2018 to use the alimony deduction as a bargaining chip in their negotiations with estranged spouses.

The deduction substantially reduces the cost of alimony payments — for people in the highest income-tax bracket, it means every dollar they pay to support a former spouse really costs them a little more than 60 cents.

The change is an example of how the tax law is having far-reaching consequences beyond its corporate and individual tax cuts, in some cases by quietly overturning decades of tax policy.

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