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Some expect rush on divorces as tax break expires

December 29, 2018

Changes concerning tax deductions for alimony are scheduled to take effect this week, but Allen County attorneys who handle divorce cases weren’t seeing a rush of people wanting to undo their marriages.

The alimony deduction, which creates billions of dollars in tax savings each year, will be eliminated for any divorce finalized after Monday - a lesser-known part of the Republican tax overhaul President Donald Trump signed into law late last year. The looming deadline had lawyers in some areas working overtime and their clients scrambling to become ex-spouses in a bid to avoid paying higher taxes.

Claire McKenzie, a divorce attorney and CPA with Chicago law firm Schiller DuCanto & Fleck, predicted earlier this month there would be “a rush of people” wanting to untie the knot.

Officials at the Allen County courthouse weren’t seeing an influx of filings.

Chris Nancarrow, the county’s chief deputy court clerk, said 1,457 divorce cases had been filed as of Dec. 10. That’s an 8 percent drop in filings through the same period last year, when nearly 1,588 couples filed for divorce. 

The clerk’s office expects the 2018 total of divorce filings to reach 1,590.

mleblanc@jg.net

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