Dannenbaum Law Firm, PLLC

Tax return changes can accompany divorce

Financial considerations are often major considerations for people in Virginia who are headed toward divorce. The end of a marriage has severe financial implications for most divorcing spouses in addition to the emotional and other practical concerns that accompany a split. One financial aspect of divorce that is not always recognized is the changes that are necessary to deal with tax filings following a divorce.

The impact of divorce on taxation can become immediately clear the year after a divorce is finalized. Tax returns for the prior year are due by April 15; when a divorce becomes final prior to Dec. 31 of the last year, it should be reflected on that year's tax returns. However, if the divorce was not final by the end of December or the divorcing couple is only separated, they should continue to file as a married couple.

For divorcing parents, child tax exemptions can be a major concern. An exemption can be claimed for each dependent child by only one parent after the divorce. The default option is the custodial parent who has the child the majority of the time. However, that parent can choose to waive the exemption to the other parent. Parents with joint custody can split the exemptions for several children, and dealing with the tax exemptions related to children can be a part of the settlement of parenting issues around the divorce.

There are a number of complicated questions about taxation after divorce that can arise. For example, the handling of spousal support and taxes can be an important matter, or there can be tax repercussions of asset division and sale as part of the divorce settlement. A family law attorney may represent clients on all matters related to divorce as well as providing counsel on taxation and other financial repercussions.

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