Alimony? Don’t Let Your Divorce Get ‘Trumped’

Divorce and alimony are a part of life, and there are recent changes to the law that could drastically effect your alimony payment. First of all, you may already know about how Trump’s Tax revisions classify alimony a heck-of-a-lot differently than how it has historically been classified. The tax implications can be pretty huge. However, you probably have not experienced the reclassification yet because the first year this is to take effect hasn’t happened yet. (Tax Year 2018) When it does, your payment may be ultimately a much bigger financial burden than anticipated.

Changes in Utah Law

Enters MacDonald v. MacDonald, recently issued by the Utah Supreme Court. There, the Court was asked to decide when alimony can be modified after a divorce. Traditionally, alimony could only be modified if a substantial change arises that was not “contemplated” in the actual decree of divorce. The Utah Supreme Court overturned this longstanding test. Looking to the express words of the applicable statute, the Court decided that alimony can only be modified by a substantial change in circumstance that is not ‘foreseeable’ at the time of divorce. At face value, this new ‘foreseeable’ test significantly limits when alimony can be modified. As the old adage goes, ‘hindsight is always 20/20.’ Just about everything becomes foreseeable when you know the right information – and that information is a whole lot easier to spot when you have the advantage of looking back, rather than forward. Therefore, in determining whether the change in circumstance was foreseeable, the Court limited the “universe of information” to the court record, at the time of the divorce.

Why You Should Call Us

From this new ‘foreseeable’ test, two things are obvious. First, you need a legal team that can look deep into your past divorce case. Depending on the “universe of information” available, Trump’s Tax revisions may constitute a change in circumstance sufficient to require a modification in alimony. So if you pay alimony, give one of the attorneys at Bearnson & Caldwell a call. Your alimony payment may be subject to modification. On the other hand, someone may be trying to change the alimony you receive. Our team of lawyers will help determine whether the “universe of information” in your case is saying otherwise. Whichever your situation, we can help. And as always, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. So, if you are getting a divorce or thinking about getting a divorce, Get the Bear! You’ll get that team of experienced, up-to-date lawyers who have what it takes to protect your interests.

Disclaimer

The foregoing is intended for general education purposes only, and is not intended as nor should be interpreted as legal advice, legal consultation, or a substitute for such advice or consultation. To receive legal help on your case, please contact an attorney at Bearnson & Caldwell by calling (435)752-6300. Attorneys licensed in Utah, Idaho, Arizona, and Wyoming.