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Change In Alimony Tax Law Sparks Holiday Rush To Divorce In 2018

MORRISTOWN, N.J. (CBSNewYork) - Under new federal law, alimony will no longer be tax deductible come Jan. 1, and the change is sending divorce attorneys into overdrive.

Divorce during the holidays is never easy, but attorneys say there's 20 percent more filings this year, reports CBS2's Lisa Rozner.

Thomas Snyder of the law firm Einhorn Harris in Denville. N.J., says this is the busiest he's been in 25 years.

"We definitely have seen an uptick, there's been more urgency on the parts of the litigants to try and make this deadline," said Snyder.

The new tax law that takes effect in 2019 shifts the tax burden from the person receiving alimony to the person paying it.

"Not only is it significant, but the problem becomes this - it's money leaving that marital estate or that joint estate - so it's money going to the government," he said. "Over the long haul - over five, seven or 10 years - that could be significant: $100,000, $150,000 one way or another."

In Morris County, the courts are typically on recess this week, but judges are making themselves available

Accountant Michael Karu, a partner at Levine Jacobs and Co. in Livingston, is working with one couple right now to meet next Monday's deadline.

"It's just added another level," said Karu. "What it's really done its forced people to talk … before they'd just let it go on and on and on. Well, now there's a benefit to one spouse to get it done."

And a fresh start in 2019 isn't bad either.

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