Divorce: New York

Divorce: New York

Category Archives: Tax Matters

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Invalidity of Licenseless Mexican Marriage Calls For Dismissal of New York Divorce Action

Posted in Defenses, Divorce, Statutes, Tax Matters
New York’s Domestic Relations Law §25, enacted in 1907, provides that a marriage is valid, even in the absence of a marriage license, if it was properly solemnized. However, New York County Supreme Court Justice Matthew F. Cooper, in his May 29, 2014 decision in Ponorovskaya v. Stecklow held that D.R.L. §25 could not be used … Continue Reading

Filing Tax Returns as “Single” May Not Estop Claim to Be Decedent’s Widow

Posted in Defenses, Evidence, Tax Matters
Filing income tax returns as “single” for the 11 years before a decedent’s death, did not, as a matter of law, estop a woman from claiming to be the decedent’s surviving spouse in contested estate proceedings. So held New York County Surrogate Nora S. Anderson in the May 22, 2014 decision in Estate of Tran (pdf). Sang … Continue Reading

IRS To Increase Audits of Alimony Deductions and Income

Posted in Tax Matters
The IRS is enhancing processes to address the discrepancies between the deductions taken by alimony payers and the income reported by alimony recipients. This is in response to a report of the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration issued March 31, 2014 (TIGTA #2014-40-022). Alimony is a payment to or for the benefit of a … Continue Reading

Alimony Not Deductible If Terminable On Child-Related Event

Posted in Tax Matters
In an April 14, 2014 decision of the United States Tax Court, Judge Ronald L. Buch upheld the disallowance of an alimony deduction where the payments were terminable, among other events, upon the high school graduation of the taxpayer’s youngest child. After more than 15 years of marriage and 3 minor children, Allen Johnson and his … Continue Reading

Fraudulent Tax Returns in Divorce Actions: Sword or Shield?

Posted in Child Support (C.S.S.A.), Equitable Distribution, Tax Matters
It is certainly not a rare problem. When confronted with fraudulent income tax returns, what is a divorce court to do? Should they be used as swords or shields? In her January 31, 2014 decision in Morille-Hinds v. Hinds, Supreme Court Queens County Justice Pam Jackman Brown appears to have disregarded the failure to report … Continue Reading

The Taxability of Spousal Maintenance Payments: a Subject of Inconsistent Court Decisions

Posted in Maintenance, Tax Matters, Temporary (Pendente Lite) Relief
The Appellate Division, Second Department, has again told J.H.O. Stanley Gartenstein that it was improper for him to award nontaxable spousal maintenance. In Siskind v. Siskind, in addition to awarding the wife $65,000 per year in nontaxable maintenance until the wife reached her 65th birthday, J.H.O. Gartenstein equitably distributed the parties’ assets, awarded child support and … Continue Reading

The Nature of 529 Education Savings Plans Should Not be Disregarded Under the Guise of Divorce Stipulation Interpretation

Posted in Agreements and Stipulations, Settlement, Tax Matters
Entering open-court oral stipulations of settlement to a divorce action is treacherous.  It’s easy to miss something or be imprecise in language. However, striking the deal while the iron is hot is a necessary part of matrimonial litigation.  Letting the parties walk out of the courthouse without putting the day’s agreement “on the record” may … Continue Reading

“Gross (Total) Income” for the Purposes of Child Support and Temporary Maintenance

Posted in Child Support (C.S.S.A.), Maintenance, Tax Matters, Temporary (Pendente Lite) Relief
Have you looked at an IRS Form 1040 (pdf) lately? Looking at the 1040 is supposed to begin the C.S.S.A. calculation for determining child support.  For actions commenced on or after October 13, 2010, it is also the first step when determining temporary maintenance. When computing child support under either the Family Court Act or the Domestic Relations … Continue Reading

When Settling the Divorce, Draft the QDRO Before Drafting the Agreement Dividing the Pension

Posted in Agreements and Stipulations, Equitable Distribution, Settlement, Tax Matters
After 36 years of family law practice, I pride myself on having a good idea of what I don’t know. The good news is that I can reach out for the help needed to make sure the bases are covered when drafting a divorce settlement agreement.  Matrimonial litigation has spawned a host of forensic specialities eager to … Continue Reading

Judge Awards Durational Maintenance and Forwards Decision to IRS

Posted in Maintenance, Tax Matters
In his February 9, 2011 decision in PP v. KP, Justice Robert A. Bruno of Nassau County, providing the reader with the salient facts, reflected his balancing of the various factors and policies underlying a maintenance determination. Justice Bruno had conducted a hearing on maintenance (and counsel fees) after the parties to this 24-year marriage stipulated to equitable distribution matters … Continue Reading