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To avoid “double-taxing” a lawyer’s ex-wife, an appellate court has modified the equitable distribution in their divorce to give her half the $1.5 million value of his law license, something a trial judge said the woman should not receive because she was already getting half of the attorney’s $2.5 million interest in the law firm he founded, plus generous maintenance payments.

But the original award, the appellate panel found, caused the ex-wife to be bitten twice by taxes because the after-tax value of the law license was folded into the maintenance award, upon which the woman would then pay income taxes.

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