Guidelines for Filing Your Tax Return During A Divorce - Schultz & Associates
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Guidelines for Filing Your Tax Return During A Divorce

Guidelines for Filing Your Tax Return During A Divorce

You’re going through a divorce and you don’t know whether how to file your tax return.

Here are some tips and guidelines for how you should approach your tax return whilst in the middle of a divorce.


Filing Status

If you are getting a divorce but it is not yet finalized, you have the option of filing a joint return. Keep in mind that you are not required to file jointly. Your other option is to file your return as married filing separately, so long as you are still legally married by December 31. If you are divorced by December 31, you can file as head of household if you had custody of your child and paid for more than half of the upkeep for your home.



If your child has lived with you longer than your ex-spouse during the year, you can continue to claim them as a dependent. In other words, if you have custody of your child, you can claim them as a dependent. However, the non-custodial parent can claim a dependent child if the custodial parent signs a waiver pledging that they will not claim the child dependent.



If you are the spouse who is paying alimony, you can rest assured knowing that those payments are tax deductible. However, the IRS won’t consider the payments to be true alimony unless required by a divorce agreement and made in cash. Another thing to remember is that your ex-spouse must pay income tax on the amounts that are deducted.


Child Support

The opposite is true when it comes to child support. Child support payments cannot be deducted from the tax return of the recipient nor the parent paying them. The recipient also does not pay income tax on child support payments.