Attorneys: Thinking of divorce? Don't wait

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - If it's time to untie the knot, divorce attorneys recommend you get the process started sooner rather than later because waiting could cost you.

When it's not 'til death do you part and happily ever after ends a lot sooner than you think, divorce is where you turn.

Thanks to the new tax plan, divorce is undergoing a major change.

"This is probably the biggest and most defining change that's happening to divorce law in a quarter century," Suzanne Landers with The Landers Firm said.

The details are complicated and still being figured out, but according to Landers, payors or the person who has more income after the divorce will no longer be able to deduct alimony payments from their taxes.

"What that means for the average person is they're going to have to negotiate a little differently than we have negotiated in the past, because the purpose of alimony is move money effectively and most advantageously to the family from a high earner to a lower earner," Landers said. "And all of that is going to change."

Some experts worry the changes will make divorce proceedings even more difficult to resolve. Plus, if your divorce is already finalized, you still may be affected.

"That doesn't mean you're safe," Landers said. "Because after December 31 of 2018, anytime anyone asks for a modification of an alimony award and they ask that this new law apply, it looks like this new law is going to apply."

So if you've been putting off splitting up, attorneys say you may want to do it so sooner rather than later.

"I would say get your divorce in now. If you need to tend to this, tend to this now especially if you are a high payor," Landers said.

The deduction law has been in place for 75 years. Some experts said state laws regarding divorce may change in response to accommodate these changes.

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