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Six Tips for Filing Taxes After Filing for Divorce

Every year, no matter what one's relationship status is, the complexities of tax season will roll around once again. If you are in the midst of a divorce right now, or if you split up in the last year, tax season just became that much more complicated. Here then are several tips to help you as you face taxes in this time of transition.

1) Get your filing status right. Was your divorce finalized as of December 31, 2013? If you were divorced by that time, then you would file as a single person. If you have a child, then you may be able to file as a head of household, which provides tax advantages. If by the end of last year, your divorce was not completed, then you would still pick "married filing jointly" or "married filing separately", but filing jointly is usually more beneficial.

2) Can you claim a dependent exemption for your child? This will depend on whether or not you have custody of your child. If you were named the custodial parent in 2013, then you might also be able to select child care and education tax credits. If you are the non-custodial parent, there are some circumstances under which the custodial parent can waive their exemption claim so you can claim it. This tax document is called IRS Form 8332: Release/Revocation of Release of Claim to Exemption for Child by Custodial Parent.

3) Don't deduct child support payments. Whether you are the custodial or non-custodial parent, you cannot deduct child support. But at least these payments will not get taxed as if it were part of the receiving parent's income.

4) Pay close attention to tax rules on alimony. If maintenance was awarded in your divorce, then the receiving party might get these payments taxed as income, and the paying party might be able to deduct these payments. This will probably be the case if you and your ex live in different households, and one of you made alimony payments to the other in 2013. However, alimony payments can only be deducted if they were cash, checks, or money orders, for example, because property will not be counted as alimony for tax purposes. Also, if you and your ex are still in the same household after a divorce (such as when both parties decide to co-own the marital home for a period after the divorce), then the alimony you receive could be taxed, but your ex could not deduct these payments.

5) Alimony might help you with your IRA. Alimony could go into an Individual Retirement Account, and if you put these funds into the account by April 15, they might be deductible from your taxes.

6) Work with a financial planner. While this is advisable for most people filing taxes, this is especially true when you face taxes and divorce at the same time. Not only is it important to understand the financial implications of your divorce, but if you are currently getting a divorce right now, a financial planner can help you know where you stand financially, and what you need for your financial future.

Knowing what you need is one thing, achieving the right results in your divorce is another. But if you have the right divorce lawyer on your side, you can come away with the divorce settlement that you deserve. Whether you are about to file for divorce, are in the throes of this process, or need to modify a finalized divorce settlement, do not wait to contact the Meyers Law Group, P.C. today. Find out how our experienced Long Island divorce attorney can help you protect your rights.