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What Should I Know About Filing Taxes Post-Divorce?

Posted on : March 27, 2021, By:  Erlina Perez

Filing taxes is complicated in general, but the process can become even more difficult when you’re going through a divorce. Here’s what you need to know about filing your taxes post-divorce and where to get experienced legal help. 

You May Need to Choose a New Filing Status  

You may need to select a different filing status after your divorce depending on what stage of divorce you are in. For example, if the divorce isn’t yet finalized, you can still file as married and get a larger refund. If it is final, you no longer have that option available to you. 

You’ll Need to Decide Who Gets to Claim Your Child(ren) as a Dependent  

Whichever spouse claims the children as dependents on their taxes (if applicable) usually gets a much larger refund than the other, who may even have to pay into the IRS. This can lead to disputes over which parent gets to claim the kids. Often, judges will rule that parents have to trade who claims the children each year, or may simply allow the primary custodian to claim the children if the other parent has limited visitation. 

Alimony and Child Support Tax Guidelines Have Changed 

Under the new laws of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2019, the party responsible for paying taxes on alimony or spousal support has changed. Payors may no longer deduct alimony payments and recipients no longer have to claim the payments as income. 

This means the payor is shouldering the tax burden of spousal support alone, a move that heavily favors the already benefiting recipients of alimony. It’s important to consult an attorney if you think you may be required to pay spousal support. 

Child support taxes haven’t changed and are still the responsibility of the person making the payments. If you opted to bundle your child and spousal support before the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was finalized, you’re likely grandfathered into a different tax filing requirement. In this case, the recipient pays taxes on the support by claiming it as part of their income. The payor can also deduct the support from their income, easing their overall tax burden. 

How to Get Help From a Dedicated, Compassionate New Jersey Divorce Attorney 

Protect your financial best interests during a divorce by working with an experienced New Jersey family lawyer. Contact Erlina Perez today to book your initial consultation at (201) 880-7070.