Taxes and the newly divorced: some considerations and advice

Every year around this time, newly divorced persons across the country, including in Georgia, confront a novel and, for some, frustratingly complex, experience: filing taxes for the first time in many years as an individual and not in tandem with another person as a married couple.

Divorce, as noted by virtually every commentator who has ever addressed the subject, brings change. For many people, that is a decidedly good thing, heralding new possibilities and the prospects of personal growth.

On occasion, though, a few areas might need tweaking. Where kids are involved, of course, child custody, visitation and child support are often concerns. In some instances, alimony is relevant.

And, yes, taxes factor in. For a person filing alone for the first time in many years, it is certainly not a bad idea to get some professional help. In all but the most complex instances, many software programs are well-versed enough to help a person go it alone and get things right.

At any rate, following are a few core concerns of many newly divorced filers.

  • What’s my status? In most cases, “married, filing jointly” is a preferred box to tick, and most persons can do that if they were still legally wed as of December 31.
  • Who gets to claim any children as dependency exemptions? Usually, that will be the custodial parent.
  • What about child support? Sorry, no deduction, with the caveat that some expenses are deductible, such as child care and tuition outlays.
  • As for alimony payments, they are deductible provided they pass certain threshold tests

Questions concerning divorce-related tax implications can be addressed with a divorce attorney having a grounding in tax considerations or other professional.

Source: Huffington Post, “Divorce tax tips: five most common tax questions,” Joseph E. Cordell, Jan. 29, 2013

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