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Divorce penalty? Tax reform could shrink alimony for ex-spouses

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Divorce penalty could shrink alimonyAlimony payments mandated by divorce agreements could lose their beneficial tax treatment.

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, unveiled on Thursday, includes a provision to kill the deduction that taxpayers get for making such payments to an ex-spouse. Although it's just one of the many tax breaks eliminated under the legislation, experts say it will end up most hurting the person receiving the money.

"Alimony payers won't be able to afford to give as much because they'll have to give it to Uncle Sam instead," said Nancy Hetrick, a certified divorce financial analyst and senior advisor at Better Money Decisions in Phoenix, Arizona. "There will be less money to go around to support the two households."

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