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10 Things You Need to Know About Divorce and Taxes

Important Tax Information While Going Through Divorce

1. Determine your filing status. Your marital status at the end of the year determines how you file your tax return. If you were divorced by midnight on December 31 of the tax year, you will file separately from your former spouse. If you are the custodial parent for your children, you may qualify for the favorable head of household status. If not, then you will file as a single taxpayer, even if you were married for part of the tax year.

2. Consider the tax implications of support. Child support is not deductible to the person who pays it, but maintenance is. Likewise, the recipient of maintenance must claim it on her tax return, but child support isn’t reported as income. If you rolled your support together into “family support” in your agreement, that makes it fully taxable to the recipient and deductible to the payer, just like maintenance.

3. Don’t run afoul of the special rules regarding support. If maintenance payments are concentrated in the first year or two after divorce, the IRS may consider the money to be non-deductible property settlement. And if maintenance is scheduled to end within six months of a child’s 18th or 21st birthday, the IRS may consider the alimony, in reality, to be disguised child support.

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Different Kinds of Divorce Resolution-Litigation, Mediation and Collaborative Divorce

In addition to the traditional divorce litigation representation, both collaborative divorce and divorce mediation services are ways to proceed with a divorce in a much less aggressive manner. Petit & Dommershausen handles all three types of representation.

As a divorce mediator, Petit & Dommershausen does not take a sides. Our role is to help a couple to communicate and arrive at mutual agreements. Through mediation, you may be able to resolve disputes faster, with less bitterness, and at less cost than battling in court. The mediator can provide information about the divorce process and guide a discussion to help resolve issues. Petit & Dommershausen would not represent either party and could not provide legal advice. The couple can hire Petit & Dommershausen as a mediator if you have an attorney or if you are not represented by an attorney at all. During this process, the parties may communicate with one another directly in the presence of the mediator. The goal of mediation is to allow parties to reach agreements that meet the needs of both parties and their children without the financial and emotional cost of a court battle.

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