Divorcing: don’t forget the tax implications

On behalf of Stange Law Firm, PC posted in Family Law on Friday, September 29, 2017.

With all the changes a divorce brings, Missouri residents who are going through this process might forget that the end of a marriage also results in important new tax implications. Remembering that these changes are imminent is important in planning for the post-divorce future.

After divorce, the filing status of each person will change. “Married filing jointly” and “married filing separately” can no longer be used as filing statuses. Instead, divorcees will need to file as single or as head of household (if there are dependents who live at home with them). Additionally, the new filing statuses also mean that the tax brackets they use will be different.

Another family law matter with tax implications is related to the dependents. After a divorce, the custodial parent is the one who usually claims the dependent exemption on their taxes. This could have a strong financial impact as the deduction for most taxpayers for each dependent is $4,050. This amount can really add up if there are several children involved. If the divorce settlement indicates that the non-custodial parent can claim the exemption, that parent will have to file Form 8332. This form can then be used by the custodial parent to revoke the agreement if the non-custodial parent does not meet the necessary obligations.

The payment and receipt of alimony also results in tax-related changes. Those paying alimony can deduct the amount while those receiving it must list it as income. The same does not apply for child support. Finally, there are also other tax breaks and exceptions, such as the child tax credit, that will be affected in a divorce.

Divorcing parents might also enlist the help of a lawyer who can assist them in maneuvering the different areas of family law. A lawyer could also help them plan for the future changes they should expect.

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