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Jennifer McCaskill
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Making wise choices when considering alimony

New Jersey spouses who are considering divorce may want to think carefully about the role that spousal support will play in their future budgets. That's especially true now that the tax deduction for alimony will no longer be in effect after the end of 2018. Making wise choices that are in line with one's long-term planning is an important part of moving forward. 

For those faced with a substantial alimony payment, it might be tempting to take some time off from work in order to cut the amount of  spousal support. That move, however, is almost never a good idea. The other party is unlikely to take that change as inevitable, and the matter could very well go before a court.

In addition, not getting a regular paycheck is going to throw a serious wrench in the budget for most people. It might be nice to not have to write a big check to one's former spouse every month. However, there are other checks that will need to be written to maintain one's basic needs. A sudden drop in income will probably have more complications than benefits. 

The best way to accommodate alimony is with proper planning. Sitting down and creating a post-divorce budget provides an overview of what to expect in the years ahead. That makes it easier to look for ways to comfortably make ends meet and still have enough to save or invest. For most New Jersey spouses, alimony is not the burden they imagine it might be at the onset of the divorce process. 

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