The Long-Term Costs of Divorce

From a taxing divorce to an arduous task of revising your taxes, the work involved in transitioning back to single life seems to linger endlessly. Luckily, the light at the end of the tunnel is near. Consider these points when you file your taxes to get there sooner.

What You Need to Do

After your divorce, you’ll have to be proactive in taking steps to update your information with the IRS. You should:

  • File Form 8822 to change your address
  • Inform the Social Security Administration of any name changes with Form SS-5, Application for a Social Security Card
  • Submit a new Form W-4 to update your marital status and change your tax withholdings

What Is My Filing Status?

Your tax filing status depends on your marital status as of December 31 of the year you’re filing for. If your divorce has been finalized by the end of the year, you can file as single for the year.

If you and your partner have been living in separate residences pending your divorce, you may qualify as head of household. Typically, this status is afforded to those who have lived separately for more than six months. If you do not qualify, you will have to file jointly or separately.

Tax Deductions

Alimony is a common consideration for divorcees’ filings. How it’s handled depends on when your divorce was settled. If your marriage was settled:

  • Before December 31, 2018: The paying spouse can claim payments as a tax deductible, and the receiving spouse must report alimony as taxable income.
  • On or after January 1, 2019: The paying spouse cannot deduct alimony payments, and the receiving spouse does not need to report the payments as taxable income.

Additionally, a spouse could deduct the fees accrued from getting alimony or tax help during their divorce. Other divorce-related fees, such as the legal and court costs associated with finalizing your dissolution of marriage, are not deductible.

Who Can Claim Dependents?

If you and your partner have any children, only one of you may claim them in your tax filings. The parent eligible to claim dependents is the one with primary custody. In the event that your custody schedule is split evenly, the spouse with the highest Adjusted Gross Income may claim the dependents.

Divorce brings up a number of changes. Trust our attorneys to help you through them. Call us today at (636) 400-1177 or contact us online for assistance today.

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