This week we are featuring a guest blogger, who is our first SPOTLIGHT female entrepreneur. Marissa Del Mauro is a family law attorney in Somerville, NJ at the law firm of Lyons and Associates. She is an incredible attorney, and I believe you will receive some value from her. This posting is geared towards women going through a divorce, so please pass it along to any women who could benefit from it. Take advantage of her wisdom!
Taxability of Pendente Lite Support: The devil is in the details
A very common and valid concern that many women have after the Complaint for Divorce is filed is how, as the lower earning spouse, they will support themselves and their children while the divorce is ongoing.
To remedy their valid concern, their matrimonial attorney will file a Motion for Pendente Lite support. This Motion, when granted by the Judge, will provide the lower earning spouse with temporary monetary support called "pendente lite" support. Pendente lite support is temporary, meant to last for the duration of time up until the Judgment of Divorce is entered.
Pendente lite support is also unallocated, meaning it is not specifically alimony nor child support; it is meant to cover all expenses for the family on this temporary basis.
Unallocated pendente lite support payments are treated as alimony and taxable to the recipient for federal taxation purposes UNLESS there is specific language in the Court Order granting the relief that the award of support is not alimony for tax purposes, is not deductible by the paying spouse and not taxable by the receiving spouse.
See the case of Kean v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue, 407 F.3d 186 (3d Cir. 2005), wherein the Third Circuit affirmed two consolidated rulings of the tax court, concluding that unallocated support payments received by the supported spouse during tax year 1992 through 1996 met the definition of alimony, resulting in tax deficiency assessments. The court stated that “where support payments are unallocated, as in this case, the entire amount is attributable to the payee spouse’s income.” Id. at 192.
As you can see, the improper handling of a pendente lite support in a divorce matter can have very serious tax consequences. For more information regarding pendente lite divorce matters, contact the Law Office of Lyons & Associates. At the law office of Lyons & Associates, we represent men and women throughout New Jersey who have unresolved family law matters. We place a premium on personalized service and attention. View our website at www.lyonspc.com, or call our office at
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