Tax Tips for Divorce

Given that it is February, we are in the middle of tax season. During this time of year, we receive more tax-related questions than usual, especially from newly-divorced clients. If you were officially divorced by December 31st, then for tax-related purposes, you are no longer married.

Since you are no longer married, this means that you will be filing your tax return as single. Please note that you do not want your Social Security number to appear with your ex's. Additionally, be sure that your records are kept separate.

Is spousal support deductible?

What about spousal support, how does that come into play with your taxes? Spousal support is deductible for the paying spouse, and the receiving spouse must report it as income. However, this does not apply to voluntary payments made by the paying spouse.

The following payments are not considered spousal support:

  • Child support payments
  • Property settlements that do not involve cash
  • Use of the paying spouse's property
  • Disbursements to maintain the payer's property
  • Payments that are by law, the spouse's portion of the community income

When your divorce decree is written, it's important to know the difference between what is considered spousal support and what is child support. As mentioned above, the spouse who pays spousal support can deduct it, however, child support is not deductible for the spouse who is ordered to pay it.

While the Internal Revenue Service will not let spouses deduct their legal fees and court costs associated with their divorce, the IRS may allow the taxpayer to deduct legal fees paid for tax-related advice the spouse received for the divorce.

Contact a Los Angeles Divorce Attorney

Searching for a divorce lawyer in Los Angeles? Contact Claery & Hammond, LLPto schedule a free initial consultation with an experienced member of our legal team. We would be glad to give you further advice regarding how to file your taxes after the divorce.