Tax Consequences of Divorce
How might my divorce impact my taxes?
A divorce will impact nearly every aspect of your life, including your taxes. There are several potential tax consequences of a divorce, both during and after the divorce proceedings are finalized. With the help of your Oklahoma family law attorney, you can navigate the tax implications of a divorce and mitigate any negative financial impact.
Your Filing Status
Getting divorced will often alter your filing status. Married couples will generally file as “Married Filing Jointly” or “Married Filing Separately.” As of the year you get divorced, you will be forced to file as either “Single” or “Head of Household.” You will be considered unmarried for the whole year so long as your divorce decree was obtained before the last day of the year.
Filing as “Single” instead of married will impact your tax bracket, personal exemptions, and eligibility for certain deductions. The precise impact of your new filing status will depend on whether you were the wage earner in the marriage, along with several other factors. Newly single parents may find that they will be entitled to increased tax benefits if they can claim “Head of Household” status. With the assistance of your family law attorney and a tax professional, you can determine your best filing strategy to minimize tax obligations.
Exemptions for Children
Taxpayers are entitled to exemptions for each qualifying child. For divorced parents, a rule exists requiring that only one parent be permitted to claim a child on a return. Generally, the custodial parent, or the parent with which the child primarily lives for a greater number of nights each year, will receive the exemption. However, exceptions do exist that may allow a noncustodial parent to claim their child for tax purposes. If the noncustodial parent provides more than half of the child’s support and the custodial parent signs a waiver allowing the other parent to claim the child, then the exemption will be permitted.
Your divorce attorney can assist you in reaching a divorce settlement that will clarify your tax obligations and child exemptions. Consult with your family law attorney for more information about how your taxes may be impacted both during and after your divorce.