Ohio couples that are involved in divorce negotiations may want to take some time to review the new tax laws. There are a few divorce issues where the American Taxpayer Relief Act, or ATRA, will affect those couples involved in a high asset divorce. The two areas that could be impacted the most are alimony and asset division.

Anyone making over $400,000 a year will find that their former tax bracket of 35 percent has been increased to 39.6 percent. For those that are negotiating alimony as part of their divorce settlement, this could be an issue, particularly since alimony is generally a taxable income. One way to possibly avoid this being a tax issue is to ask for a one-time lump sum payment in lieu of long term payments. This lump sum payment may not be taxable, but it would also not be tax deductible for the payor. The amount of the payment may be negotiated to prepare for this eventuality.

Another area where the new tax laws could take a hefty toll is on dividends, investment income and capital gains. There is a new Medicare surcharge tax of 3.8 percent that will impact this type of taxable income. In addition, the capital gains tax has gone up from 15 percent to 20 percent. That equates to a whopping 23.8 percent tax on this type of asset. One way to get around this would be to give up stocks and real estate in a settlement and negotiate for cash payments and retirement funds instead. These assets are not subject to these new taxes.

Most Ohio couples involved in a high asset divorce are already looking toward the tax ramifications of a divorce settlement. The new tax laws under the ATRA will only cause that scrutiny to increase. The right advice and assistance can to a long way toward making sure that the new tax laws have the least impact possible.

Source: Forbes, "Divorcing Women: Will The New Tax Laws Affect Your Divorce Settlement," Jeff Landers, Feb. 20, 2013