Avoid alimony pounding


            Posted on  Jul 5,2009   

            Avoid alimony pounding

Q.  I grew up in Ashland, MA. After college I took a job in London where I met and married my wife. After 20 years and no kids, we're getting divorced.

My wife wants a lump sum of alimony which I cannot deduct against my income. I want to pay her monthly because I suspect that just as soon as our divorce is over she'll be getting married again.

Any suggestions?

T.L., Ashland by way of London

A. English tax law does not provide a deduction for alimony, whether paid weekly, monthly or in a lump sum. And the recipient does not have to pay taxes on alimony received. The latter is the same tax treatment that child support gets in the USA.

That means after"“tax income is used to calculate the amount of child support in the USA and the amount of both child support and alimony in the U.K.

Also, if enough money is available, English divorce law orders a lump sum of alimony, based upon the present value of the need and life expectancy of both parties.

If you convince the court that enough cash is not available, then you pay weekly and your alimony stops upon the first to occur of your wife's remarriage or death, or upon your death. Then you might expect your ex-wife might to just move in with her new lover.

To be done with it, try compromising by paying a reduced lump sum, which is the route most in the U.K. chose, if they can. That way, if she doesn't marry the now friend, you'll still be off the alimony hook.