Barbara J. Katzenberg, Attorney at Law

Tax deductions can impact on finances after a divorce

While every divorce has its unique issues to be navigated, certain aspects are to be addressed in all divorces. One of those is how tax deductions will be handled after the divorce. Massachusetts residents who are considering divorce may want to research the various tax aspects that are associated with divorce because it will certainly impact on their post-divorce finances.

The date of the final divorce decree will determine your filing status for the year in which you got divorced. If the final divorce decree is issued before on Dec. 31, you will be considered as a single person for the whole year. If there are children involved, one of the parents may be entitled to file as head of household.

To qualify for head of household filing status, certain criteria must be met. This includes being single on the last day of the year and being able to show that the qualifying individual contributed more than 50 percent of the costs of maintaining the household. When it comes to dependency deductions for the children, the custodial parent is usually the one who is entitled to deductions. However, as in most legal cases, exceptions exist.

Because any divorce in Massachusetts is multifaceted and complex, many individuals consult with experienced divorce attorneys to learn about the rules associated with tax deductions that will be allowed after the divorce. A lawyer can also provide guidance on matters related to tax deductions for property ownership. Gaining the appropriate knowledge may assist in making informed decisions about matters that may play an important part in a client's post-divorce finances.

Source: Yahoo Finance, "The Tax Deductions You May Qualify for After a Divorce", Karin Price Mueller, Oct. 28, 2015

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