A couple weeks ago, a headline in the The New York Times grabbed my attention. It read: "'Hurry Up and Get a Divorce?' For the Rich, There's an Incentive." The piece explains that, as of January 1, 2019, alimony will not be tax deductible. For high net worth clients, that change, of course, can amount to a substantial annual amount...but even for less wealthy individuals, the lack of deductibility will make a difference.
A couple days ago, there was another article in the paper about it as well.
While divorce isn't something to rush into, there are indeed advantages of getting one in motion now with this change in mind. In a divorce settlement, there are many assets beyond just money, such as real estate, that can be factored in.
But, really, divorce isn't something people tend to rush into--it's a decision that comes from many months and often years of suffering and simply not being happy. Which leads to another question: why stay in an unhappy marriage? Improving the quality of one’s life – and the life of one’s children – is ultimately a stronger incentive to get divorced than the changing tax laws. One should not allow the decision to divorce to be governed by whether you make or lose money because of a change in IRS regulations.