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The new tax law and its impact on child support

As 2018 begins to wind down, the implications of the tax law passed earlier in the year are nearing reality. The impact of the law on alimony and child support in Texas is considerable. Changes include child dependency exemptions, the child tax credit and how 529 college accounts are handled. All of this may result in couples who are considering divorce to carefully consider their options.

Prior to the new law, alimony was deductible by the payor from his or her taxable income. The recipient paid income tax on the amount at his or her lower rate. With the implementation of the new tax law, alimony will no longer be deductible, and the recipient will no longer pay tax on the amount received.

The law also eliminates the child dependency exemption. This part of the law will expire in 2025. The loss of this exemption may raise questions concerning child custody as there may be no tax benefit or incentive for obtaining custody or claiming a child as a dependent. In addition, college 529 plans that were previously intended for college expenses only can now be used towards tuition for elementary and secondary education. Also, the child tax credit is being increased as is the income threshold to qualify for the credit.

With all of these changes taking place, a person considering a divorce in Texas may benefit from seeking legal advice regarding the new child support implications of the law. A conversation with an attorney familiar with the new law may help clarify the options that will be available. A knowledgeable lawyer will do his or her best to arrive at a fair and equitable settlement for his or her client.

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