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ALIMONY TAX CHANGES FOR 2019 Information You Need to Know
If you and your spouse are involved in divorce proceedings, I’m sure you are familiar with the new tax changes. Lawyers typically advise couples to take time before making any final decisions on divorce proceedings, but for the following reasons and tax considerations, time is of the essence! Current Alimony Treatment As of today, federal law allows alimony payments to be tax deductible for the person paying and taxable as income to the recipient. The alimony recipient reports alimony payments as taxable income. This system allows the payer to provide more alimony and the recipient to keep more of the payment after taxes. However, this will change next year. both the ability for payers to deduct alimony on their taxes and for recipients to report alimony they receive as taxable income. Come tax time, this means the person who contributes alimony will pay more money, and the recipient will keep more. If you are involved in divorce proceedings and paying alimony, your payments may not be tax deductible unless your final judgment is entered on or before Dec. 31, 2018. A Shift in Bargaining When tax deductions are no longer an option, alimony will become more like child support. If the payor can’t deduct payments, then they may push for a lower amount. On the other hand, alimony recipients could stall a divorce to avoid a change in income-based financial decisions, or even avoid an adjustment in tax brackets. New Alimony Treatment After Dec. 31, 2018, the Tax Cuts Job Act will remove
How These Changes Affect You The new changes won’t take effect until Jan. 1, 2019, so those looking to maintain current tax treatment for alimony must obtain a final judgment before the end of the year. There will be no taxable alimony for divorces finalized after Dec. 31, 2018. Temporary Orders For those currently involved in divorce proceedings and paying alimony pursuant to a temporary order, you may be entitled to take a deduction for alimony payments so long as your temporary order was entered prior to Dec. 31, 2018. Prior agreements that the court ratified are not affected by the tax changes, which means those alimony payments may still be tax deductible to the payer and taxable to the recipient.
Due to the technical nature of the alimony statute, ongoing alimony reform efforts, and the new tax changes, it is my advice that anyone involved in divorce proceedings where alimony is an issue have the most experienced counsel possible. Navigating through divorce is emotionally difficult and can even be blinding at times, which is precisely why choosing the most experienced attorney to represent you is the smartest thing you can do.
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4 Dishes Your Table Needs
course, as the final touches are put on the turkey, or when the green bean casserole needs a few more minutes in the oven.
Brussels sprouts These tiny greens often get overlooked during Thanksgiving, but with the right accompaniment, they can make for an extremely tasty and nutritious dish. For example, try roasting halved Brussels sprouts with dried cranberries and bacon, drizzled with a raspberry balsamic vinaigrette. Sausage Put a creative spin on your traditional Thanksgiving dishes and try using sausage in the stuffing. An Italian sausage, for instance, adds a kick of flavor to any stuffing, homemade or from the box. You can also experiment with other kinds of sausage to find the flavors that best complement your stuffing. Use a sweet sausage when you need something to pair with a stuffing that incorporates apples. Cranberry sauce This Thanksgiving staple rarely gets the attention it deserves. While it’s easy to buy a can of cranberry sauce, you do your guests a culinary disservice by going this route. Instead, make your own cranberry sauce. There are many recipes online, and all you need are some fresh or frozen cranberries, orange juice, and sugar to make the best cranberry sauce of your life.
When you think of Thanksgiving food, the first dishes that pop into your mind are probably turkey, mashed potatoes, and green bean casserole. They’re a part of nearly every Thanksgiving meal. And while these delicious foods are something you don’t want to skip, there are dishes your table is sorely missing — dishes that don’t get the respect they truly deserve. This Thanksgiving, why not take a look at a few other options? Soup This is one dish that rarely hits the Thanksgiving table. But try a butternut squash or broccoli cheddar soup and you’ll be surprised just how “at home” it feels among the rest of your spread. It’s perfect to serve ahead of the main
CAN I VISIT GRANDMA AND GRANDPA? What the Law Says About Grandparent Visitation
Grandparents’ rights to visitation are complicated waters to navigate. The Florida Supreme Court deems grandparent visitation unconstitutional due to the birth parents’ fundamental right to privacy. Any intrusion on that right has to be justified by what is known as “compelling interest.” Compelling Interest If constitutional rights come into question, the government has to determine the validity of the matter. To do this, the problem needs to go through a test that balances the government’s action against the individual’s rights. In the instance of grandparent visitation, compelling interest depends on what would be viewed as inappropriate actions by the parenting group. These inappropriate actions include situations of abuse or threats. Temporary Custody On the opposite side of the equation, grandparents may fall under a temporary custody statute that allows them to be in the lives of the child or children until an official ruling is reached. When the final resolution comes from the court, this statute is lifted, and custody is established. From there, grandparent visitation comes down to a petition. Petition Each case is different, and in many instances, there are ways in which a grandparent can still visit their grandchildren. The right to petition makes each situation unique, and different circumstances can overturn the fundamental right to privacy.
With the holidays around the corner, it’s essential to have family support. Fighting a visitation battle to ensure kids can see their grandparents is not for the faint of heart, but our team is here to help.
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CIVIL VS. CRIMINAL TRAFFIC TICKETS
The roads during the holidays are full of people traveling, which often results in more traffic tickets. Most towns have speed traps where many drivers get caught, but it’s important to note that speeding is just one type of traffic offense threatening your Thanksgiving enjoyment. Both civil and criminal traffic offenses can quickly ruin your day. Here are the differences between the two. Civil When you think of traffic tickets, speeding, following too closely, or not signaling when changing lanes often come to mind. These are considered civil offenses, and most don’t carry criminal penalties. However, civil traffic violations can accrue points, and an excessive number of points in a 12-month period can result in revocation of your license. For this reason, it’s important to seek representation for the disposal of your traffic ticket. Most tickets can be removed at the arraignment, and very few go to trial, but in either case, you need a proficient attorney. Criminal In instances of DUI or reckless driving, the operator of the vehicle will often face criminal charges, which can result in fines, revocation of driving privileges, or even a prison sentence. Without a lawyer, you’ll lack proper support for your hearing. In these instances, an attorney is a necessity, not a luxury. It’s not uncommon to see many of these violations become major burdens, and that’s why it’s essential to have competent representation. No one wants to deal with the stress of a traffic ticket — slight or severe — before joining family and friends at the dinner table.
SPICY, CREAMY SWEET POTATOES
Inspired by The New York Times
Sweet potatoes are a Thanksgiving staple, but they’re often the blandest thing on the table. Luckily that’s not the case with this recipe, which features Thai spices and coconut milk.
• • •
5 pounds sweet potatoes 1 cup canned coconut milk
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●1/2 cup dark brown sugar ●4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon Thai red curry paste
●1 tablespoon kosher salt
Heat oven to 375 F. On a large sheet pan, bake potatoes until very soft, approximately 75 minutes. Let potatoes cool until they are safe to handle, then peel and mash. In a small saucepan over low heat, combine coconut milk and curry paste. Once mixed, add the mixture, salt, half the sugar, and half the butter to potatoes.
30 minutes before serving, heat oven to 425 F. Spread potatoes in a baking dish, cover with foil, and bake for 20 minutes. Uncover potatoes and dot with remaining butter and sugar. Broil until brown, crusty, and delicious. Serve hot.
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INSIDE THIS ISSUE 1. 2.
ALIMONY CHANGES COMING DOWN THE PIKE
THANKSGIVING DISHES YOUR TABLE IS MISSING THE COMPLICATED WATERS OF GRANDPARENT VISITATION
SPICY, CREAMY SWEET POTATOES CIVIL VS. CRIMINAL TRAFFIC VIOLATIONS
A HISTORIC VETERANS DAY
A Historic Veterans Day
COMMEMORATINGTHE 100THANNIVERSARY OF THE END OFWORLDWAR I
This year, Veterans Day takes on particular historic significance: Nov. 11, 2018, marks the 100th anniversary of the armistice that ended the First World War. Countries around the world will commemorate the signing of this peace agreement with moments of silence, centennial ceremonies, and historical exhibits. Unlike Memorial Day, Veterans Day is a celebration of life. It’s a day to honor the power of peace and the living veterans across the globe who have served their countries. This November, take a moment to remember the war that helped shape the international community’s dedication to peace and thank the individuals who served to defend it. The Great War By 1914, a world war had been years in the making, but the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of the Austro-Hungarian
Empire by a Serbian nationalist provided the spark that would eventually burn down much of Europe. A chain reaction of land disputes, pre-emptive attacks, and strategic alliances brought over 30 countries into World War I. The Great War that ravaged Europe resulted in a devastating loss of life, but from those ashes rose a renewed appreciation for the importance of peace and a global effort to ensure its place in the future. The Restoration of Peace In 1918, Germany surrendered unconditionally, and the armistice ended the fighting at the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918, though the war did not officially end until the signing of the Treaty of Versailles the following July. An estimated 16 million soldiers and civilians died in just four years, making it one of the deadliest conflicts in modern history.
Veterans Day Originally called Armistice Day, Veterans Day was first observed on Nov. 11, 1919, to honor the one-year anniversary of the armistice, and it became a U.S. holiday in 1938. Today, Veterans Day celebrates veterans who served their country honorably. The U.K., France, Australia, and Canada also commemorate their veterans in November. If you know a veteran, thank them for their service this month.
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