With the new tax bill on the cusp of being signed into law, what does that mean for you?
Alimony status will remain unchanged for 2018, but for 2019 will not be a deduction for payor or income to payee. Spousal Support (allocated) should be treated same.
This will likely cause changes to PA law for support calculations since the current system utilizes 40% difference of net income for those without children and 30% of net income for cases with kids.
This will also touch ancillary issues of who gets relief at tax time, since personal exemptions are gone but child credits are increased slightly.
Largest impact looks to be for divorcing couples with and without children who will have a future support component (Alimony) to the division of their property and are trying to produce a settlement agreement or Order from Judge or Master for Equitable Distribution. Bottom line, strategy will change, planning will change, negotiations will change, we will change too and respond accordingly.
It appears that the latest version of the newest Tax Reform will have a major impact on divorce negotiations currently in process and all new cases.
In short, presently Alimony is deductible to the payor and includable to the payee.
However, problems with each ex-spouse utilizing different figures for these payments have been the basis for removing them all together.
This will have a huge impact on the person paying alimony and all pending and future settlements or proposals in litigation will need to be scrutinized using a whole different perspective.
While nothing has passed yet, it appears that this aspect of the probable new law will remain when the final bill has its final vote. So stay tuned and be careful if you’re presently in the midst of divorce negotiations.
The PA Child Support Guidelines were revised on February 10, 2017 and went into effect on May 1, 2017.
Prior to May 1, 2017, the last changes to the guidelines were back in August 2013 with changes to the minimum reserve amount and amended figures for support. Over the past twenty or so years, the changes have taken place every three to five years with previous revisions becoming effective in: May 2010, January 2005, April 1999 and September 1994.
“The American Institute of Family Law Attorneys has recognized the exceptional performance of Pennsylvania’s Family Law Attorney Scott L. Levine as Three Years 10 Best Family Law Attorney for Client Satisfaction.
The American Institute of Family Law Attorneys is a third-party attorney rating organization that publishes an annual list of the Top 10 Family Law Attorneys in each state. Attorneys who are selected to the “10 Best” list must pass AIOFLA’s rigorous selection process, which is based on client and/or peer nominations, thorough research, and AIOFLA’s independent evaluation. AIOFLA’s annual list was created to be used as a resource for clients during the attorney selection process.
One of the most significant aspects of the selection process involves attorneys’ relationships and reputation among his or her clients. As clients should be an attorney’s top priority, AIOFLA places the utmost emphasis on selecting lawyers who have achieved significant success in the field of Family Law without sacrificing the service and support they provide. Selection criteria therefore focus on attorneys who demonstrate the highest standards of Client Satisfaction.
We congratulate Scott L. Levine on this achievement and we are honored to have him as a Three Years AIOFLA Member.”
On October 3, 2016, Governor Wolf signed House Bill 380, which reduces the waiting period for no-fault, contested divorce cases in Pennsylvania to ONE-YEAR.
The change will become effective 60 days after it was signed, so all cases filed on or after December 4, 2016 will be subject to the new law.
All cases filed prior to this time will be subject to the prior waiting period of two-years.
This change should be carefully considered by those persons contemplating filing a Divorce Complaint in any county in Pennsylvania in the next month or two since the timing of the filing could greatly affect certain aspects of the case, most notably the duration of the receipt of, or obligation to pay spousal support or APL.
HB 380 was signed by the PA House and Senate on September 27, 2016 and was sent to the Governor for his signature, which is expected soon. This will change the Waiting Period for Contested Divorce Cases in Pennsylvania from two-years to ONE YEAR. The new law will apply only to new cases and will not be retroactive. Once signed, it is expected to be effective in 60 days.
On September 9, 2016 the Pennsylvania Supreme Court issued an opinion in D.P. and B.P. v. G.J.P and A.P., which greatly impacts grandparent standing in Custody matters in Pennsylvania. This decision was limited in that the Court addressed only the specific issues in the case before it, but included an analysis of prior cases decided by the Court and a review of the law as currently written. The decision represents a big change for the rights of unmarried parents, and could result in future changes to the Statute by the legislature.
For years, couples in Pennsylvania seeking a “no-fault” divorce have had to deal with a 2-year waiting period from the date of separation if one party would not provide their consent. However, after years of attempts to address this issue, HB 380 was passed in November of 2015 by the PA House of Representatives and has moved on to the PA Senate. This Bill would reduce the waiting period from two years to ONE YEAR.
According to a local Judge, this Bill should be heard by the full Senate sometime in April or May of 2016, and is likely to be passed. If this happens, the Bill would need to be signed by the Governor before it would become law, and thereby Amending the applicable portion of Title 23 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes. Reducing the waiting period for a “no-fault” divorce would put Pennsylvania in line with the surrounding States, which all currently have shorter waiting periods.
More importantly, it would allow economic issues to be resolved faster and should also be better for couples with children who would have to endure shorter periods of uncertainty resulting from protracted litigation over: financial considerations; property division and support issues. This is by no means a solution to the pain that can accompany a divorce, but it would be a big step and welcome change to the existing law.
In the meantime and even after any change, divorcing couples always have the option of choosing to move their matter forward expeditiously by consent through traditional negotiation, settlement and litigation, or via Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) options such as Mediation or Collaborative Law.
Mr. Levine is proud to announce that he has completed the Civil Collaborative Law training and will be able to integrate Collaborative Law into his practice. This addition will provide prospective clients with an alternative to traditional litigation.
He will also be incorporating his Mediation Training and to the Firm’s Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) offerings in order to provide families across Southwestern Pennsylvania with more options for resolving their family law matters.
Mr. Levine was honored by another organization, this time, the Global Who’s Who in their Top Lawyer category “In recognition of hard work, dedication and contributions to the legal profession.”
For the second consecutive year Mr. Levine was selected by the American Institute of Family Law Attorneys to their 10 Best Under 40 for 2016 for the State of Pennsylvania.