Keeping Taxes Low During Separation and Divorce

Divorcing couples often face disastrous tax consequences because they go from filing taxes jointly to married filing separately, which creates the highest tax burden for both spouses.

But, there is an alternative. Under certain circumstances, parents with children can file as head of household. To qualify, a single or legally separated person must maintain a household for more than half of the taxable year which is the principal residence of a qualifying individual — generally a child or related dependent who is under the age of 19 or under the age of 24 and a full-time student. Also, that qualifying individual must have not provided for half of his or her own support for the tax year.

Therefore, if a spouse meets all of the qualifications, he or she can file as head of household, avoid the much less favorable filing status of married filing separately, and enjoy a higher standard deduction and lower tax rates.

If you have questions regarding your tax filing status, or any questions regarding the impact a divorce or separation will have on your tax status, fill out our online contact form or call  and speak with one of our lawyers who can clarify these issues and guide you toward tax advantageous decisions in the context of your divorce or separation.

About the Author

Founding Partner Daniel H. Glasser has negotiated and tried family law cases involving complex issues such as business valuation, tax and equitable distribution for more than two decades. An active member of in the legal community, Dan frequently lectures on family law and business matters locally and nationally.

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