Alimony – How New Tax Rules Can Affect It

Alimony – How New Tax Rules can Affect It - Peace Talks Mediation Services - alimony, taxes, COVID19, Coronavirus, tax filing - Photo by Kelly Sikkema on UnsplashDue to the COVID-19 pandemic, federal tax filings have been extended until July 15, 2020.

Often couples are blindsided by the tax impact of getting a divorce, but when you utilize the collaborative divorce process, you have a team of experts on your divorce team that will help you find your way out of the “jungle.”

When you and your spouse opt for a collaborative divorce, both of you are assigned a neutral financial expert. This expert will help you and your spouse project cash flows, determine adjusted net worth and share with you how your proposed settlement will impact your tax returns.

We are often asked, How will our divorce agreement address alimony and how will it change our tax landscape?

Here is the general gist of it:

  • The tax treatment of alimony changed as a result of the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA).
  • There are now dramatic differences based on whether the divorce or separation agreement was finalized before or after 2019.
  • For divorces finalized before 1/1/2019 the alimony tax burden and credit remained unchanged by the (TCJA) unless the divorce agreement is changed.
  • Before the new ruling, payments from the payer could be deducted. The spouse who received the payment was required to report the alimony as taxable income.
  • As a result of this new ruling, divorces finalized after 12/21/2018, the payer can no longer deduct alimony payments.

This new ruling can be very costly to the spouse who pays out the alimony and needs to be considered into the financial landscape of your divorce agreement before finalization.

At Peace Talks, our team has the experience and expertise to provide complete and accurate financial information, including tax advisement. We will work effectively with you, your attorneys, and other professionals to accomplish your financial goals in a collaborative environment.

Contact us today to see how we can help you and your spouse mediate a financial agreement that works well for all involved.

Note: This information is general in nature and should not be construed as legal/financial/tax advice. You should work with your attorney, financial, or tax professional to determine what will work best for your situation.

Starting a New Year After Divorce

Starting a New Year After Divorce - Peace Talks Mediation Services - divorce, new year, divorce mediation, co-parenting - Photo by Ken GasconAs 2019 wound down, and your divorce was finalized, you may find yourself asking many questions, some of which may be:

  • How can I make the most of 2020 as a new divorcee?
  • How do I grow my relationship with my children?
  • What is the best way to continue growing my communications with my ex?
  • My divorce was difficult, and I am not sure I can find a new me, what can I do?

These are all very reasonable questions for a recent divorcee to be asking of one’s self.

Here are some things we suggest you do early on in the New Year to help you start 2020 off on the right foot:

  • Look at your new financial landscape
    • What adjustments need to be made asap?
    • What financial goals do you have for 2020?
  • Continue to work with your ex on how you communicate
    • During the collaborative divorce process both of you learned how to communicate with each other more effectively – put those newly found skills to work today
  • Develop your relationship with your children
  • Work on being your best you
    • Exercise daily
    • Eat healthy
    • Find ways to reduce your stress level

When you commit to working on your relationships with your ex, your children, and taking better care of yourself, 2020 can end up being the best year yet for you!

At Peace Talks, our co-mediation teams of attorneys, financial specialists and therapists can help you move forward in 2020 after your divorce has been finalized.

Our divorce mediators work with you to explore options, get the information you need to make good decisions, and assist both of you in reaching an agreement, while keeping both parties in control over their future.

Is divorce mediation for you?

Get started with our Quick Start FAQ or contact us today to speak with us or to schedule a free mediation orientation (310) 301-2100.

Note: This information is general in nature and should not be construed as legal/financial/tax advice. You should work with your attorney, financial, or tax professional to determine what will work best for your situation.

Collaborative Divorce The Best Way To Divorce In California

Collaborative Divorce The Best Way To Divorce In CaliforniaYou have decided your marriage is not working out. You want to divorce, but your friends have told you horror stories about dragging your divorce through the court system. You remember reading an article about Gwyneth Paltrow’s “conscious uncoupling” and her decision to use mediation instead of litigation. Where do you turn?? To collaborative divorce mediation at Peace Talks!

At Peace Talks, we do collaborative divorce: a non-adversarial approach to dissolution. We avoid the litigation over property, parental rights, and pride that destroy families. Peace Talks’ collaborative divorce is the preferable way to dissolve your marriage because it is 90% less expensive than litigation. It is confidential and private. Your discussions, disagreements and decisions are never public knowledge. Peace Talks makes divorce mediation a sane, sensible, and affordable alternative.

Practically speaking, collaborative divorce mediation involves a series of meetings between your partner and yourself, tailored to help you reach agreements in as amicable a manner as possible. A team of interdisciplinary specialists, an attorney, a therapist, a financial expert, and potentially other experts provide you with information to help you make excellent decisions that are in the best interests of your children and your family.

Collaborative divorce also demands another important factor: complete honest and full disclosure by both sides. A collaborative mediated divorce cannot be successful if facts are hidden from the other person. Thus, one of the first steps at Peace Talks is to voluntarily exchange all financial information. This enables our financial specialist to analyze your economic situation and present you and your partner with an accurate analysis of your financial situation. This information becomes the starting point for discussing the division of your household. An advantage of collaborative divorce is that you do not have to comply with mandated court rules. The two of you can come up with a solution that respects your shared goals.

During divorce, your life can seem chaotic, overwhelming and spinning out of control. At Peace Talks, together we develop a clear and systematic plan to keep the level of emotional strain to a minimum. While the process can be shorter than litigation, approximately 4 to 6 months, we work at your pace.
An additional benefit is that meetings at the Peace Talks’ offices are arranged to fit your time schedule, not an outside party like the civil court’s.

Another significant asset is that our mediators give you an opportunity to develop communication, self-management and negotiation skills that will help you during the divorce mediation process and beyond. The skills you achieve at Peace Talks allow you to be involved in the decision making process each step of the way. It also enables you to create a mediated settlement that attains the goals you mutually designed at your first meeting.

In our opinion, the most important reason to choose Peace Talks is that the well being of your children is protected. At Peace Talks, our team of mediation specialists ensures your children’s needs are paramount. With your input, we work to create a parenting plan that is in the best interests of your children. Not only do we consider your present situation, we discuss the developmental stages of your children and devise a plan that looks to the future while remaining flexible.

As you can see, at Peace Talks, the cooperative nature of collaborative divorce mediation can reduce the emotional stress caused by a break-up of the family and lead to a settlement that works for you and everyone involved. We believe by selecting this process you are ensuring the success of your future co- parenting and providing a safe family environment for your children to flourish.

Give Peace Talk a call today and schedule your complimentary consultation. See how collaborative divorce mediation can bring peace to your world. Call us at (310) 301-2100.