Getting a Divorce is a Life Altering – and Taxing – Experience

As experienced Los Angeles divorce attorneys, we understand that divorce can be a life-altering experience, even for the spouse who chooses to go separate ways.  It isn’t easy; if you are a woman, you may decide to change your last name.  Moving on is easier said than done, considering moving to a new location, child custody in some cases, spousal support, and even taxes.  As the old saying goes, “Nothing in life is guaranteed except death and taxes.”

There are many questions when you are involved in a divorce, and probably the last thing you think about is taxes.  You can be sure the federal government won’t forget about taxes!  Regardless of what is going on in your life, they want their fair share.  When you are in the process of getting a divorce, the way you are taxed may change.  It’s a good idea to discuss your situation with your tax preparer, as depending on your situation it may be to your advantage to:

File as married but separate

File as an individual

File together as a married couple

When it comes to spousal and child support, there are some solid federal rules in place regarding taxes.  Whichever spouse receives child support, that support is tax-free.  You are not required to pay taxes on the money you receive for the support of your child.  However, the exact opposite is true of spousal support.  If you are the recipient of spousal support, you are required to pay taxes on that support.

What about the spouse who pays child support and/or spousal support?  If you are the payor of spousal support, this may be used as a deduction on your federal income tax return; however, if you pay child support, these payments may not be used as a deduction.  Which spouse gets to claim the child or children as a dependent when it comes time to file taxes?  The parent who provides at least 50% of the support for the child/children during the specific tax year in question.  This can usually be determined by which parent the child lives with the majority of the time, even if the time is almost evenly split and the child/children live with one parent 50.01% of the time.

Divorce is a sticky situation, and tax matters even stickier.  In order to move on with your life as quickly and smoothly as possible, it is to your advantage to discuss these matters with a skilled and reputable Los Angeles divorce lawyer at the Law Offices of Spotora & Associates.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, March 13th, 2013 at 12:17 pm and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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