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The Association of Divorce Financial Planners (ADFP) is registered with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) as a sponsor of continuing professional education on the National Registry of CPE Sponsors. State boards of accountancy have final authority on the acceptance of individual courses for CPE credit. Complaints regarding registered sponsors may be addressed to the National Registry of CPE Sponsors, 150 Fourth Avenue North, Suite 700, Nashville, TN, 37219-2417. Web site: www.nasbatools.com.

The Basics of Spousal Support

Today spousal support is somewhat of a rare thing. Many people believe it is assumed, but nearly one out of six divorce cases even consider it as an option.

In the past the wife was almost always the recipient, but the courts no longer view gender as a consideration. In most states marital conduct is also not a consideration. It is purely a decision made due to the economic consequences of each spouse. If an agreement between spouses is reached, the court will give it significant consideration.

Here are some of the general factors considered:
  • The ability and time for each spouse to gain employment
  • The employability of each spouse
  • The future earning capabilities of each spouse
  • Who will have custody of the child (will the custodial parent be required to work)
  • The length of marriage
  • The ability for one spouse to pay the other
  • The tax consequences of each spouse
  • The age of each spouse
  • The length of time support will be needed

There are basic requirements for support to qualify as alimony under the Tax Reform Act of 1986. Support that is considered alimony is recognized as income therefore must taken into account when filing federal income tax. Typically, the spouse who pays support may deduct the payments as an expense. There are basic requirements for support to qualify as alimony under the Tax Reform Act of 1986.

Federal legislation now requires most companies that provide employer-sponsored group health plans to give divorced spouses the same group rate for up to three years.

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