The "Tax Cut and Jobs Act" was signed into law on December 22, 2017. Along with the changes widely reported in the media, the new law changed a few significant income tax credits and deductions that affect divorcing or divorced couples and parents of minor children. One of the major impacts relates to spousal support.
In Henrico County, Virginia, a man was arrested for two separate counts of bigamy for marrying two different women before finalizing his divorce from his first wife. According to the article, Frank Ernest Blake, Jr. was simply unaware the divorce from his first wife had never been finalized. He states, "I got papers in the mail saying that we were divorced, but evidently you get two sets of papers. I signed my name and everything on it." While Mr. Blake's admitted ignorance of the legal divorce process might mitigate the circumstances of the first count of bigamy, his explanation for his second is less sympathetic. He and his dutiful third wife, Jessica, stated they didn't believe his second marriage was "real," since it was only two weeks in duration before he and his second wife separated.
A party who is obligated to pay child support or spousal support under a court order is required to continue to pay until the court changes or terminates that obligation. If a party is not paying support, the court can use its contempt powers to punish the party who is not paying the support and to order that the arrearage (past due support) be paid.
Q: Why is spousal support important?