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Tax issues following divorce may be complicated

Tax time is a confusing time, and can be even more so following a divorce. What is your filing status after divorcing during the year? What can you and what can't you claim?

Knowing which filing status that you are eligible for is the key. Regardless of if you or your spouse filed for divorce before Dec. 31, if you were still married on that day, the two of you can claim the "married, filing jointly" status. Considering the benefits of filing with that status, it's likely wise to do so in most cases. The financial benefits are likely to outweigh any reluctance you may have to meet your former spouse at the tax preparer's office.

Attorney fees connected to the divorce are not typically deductible, however, some costs related to the divorce may be, such as fees for tax planning that were paid to an accountant for determining the best divorce property settlement payout.

In divorces where children are involved, the parent with custody more than 50 percent of the time is the one who normally gets to claim the dependents on his or her taxes. If custody of a child is evenly split, the parent who pays child support usually takes the deduction. If neither parent pays child support, then the parent with the higher adjusted gross income claims the dependents.

Moreover, child support is not deductible, yet alimony is deductible -- under certain circumstances. It will only be deductible if the alimony is being paid pursuant to a written judgment or agreement, you are not members of the same household, the payments are not child support and the payments cease upon the death of the former spouse.

For many people in Georgia, the idea of having to wade through both taxes and divorce is too much to handle. Fortunately, working with an experienced family law attorney may help to make one or both of the processes easier.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Divorce Tax Tips: Five Most Common Tax Questions," Joseph E. Cordell, Jan. 29, 2013

During a divorce, there are many important matters that need to be resolved, including tax liability. You can find out more about the complexities of divorce by visiting our website.

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William C. Gentry, Attorney at Law

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William C. Gentry, Attorney at Law
506 Roswell Street SE, Suite 240
Marietta, GA 30060

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