There are so many things to consider in a divorce case: so many ways of dividing and redistributing, and deciding on many factors in your life. These factors include: child support, assets, child custody schedules, and last but not least – taxes.
If you don’t take care of your taxes properly, the IRS could be after you. There are some ways to make sure you properly file your taxes in a post-divorce situation, and these include knowing custodial/noncustodial parent status, as well as your tax filing status. Elkouri Heath, PLC outlines it very well.
Custodial parents and noncustodial parents
Simply put, custodial parents spend the most time out of the year with the child, as opposed to the noncustodial parents that spends the least time with the child. As different responsibilities and requirements are attached to each parent, the custodial/noncustodial status does affect the way each parent files taxes.
How do taxes work for custodial parents? The custodial parent can claim his or her child as the dependent on the tax form. If a noncustodial parent wants to claim the child as a dependent, then the custodial parent must sign a form saying they won’t claim the child as a dependent. In summary, only one parent can claim the child as a dependent. Both cannot claim this in the same year.
Your filing status explained
Let’s say two parents divorce this year before the year ends. A joint tax return is possible, but they must list “married filing separately”. If the divorce goes through and the parent is no longer married, the filing status is either single or head of household, depending on your situation.
For filing as head of household, you must fulfill three requirements:
- Be either unmarried or considered unmarried by the final day of the tax year
- Pay more than half of the house expenses for the same tax year
- Have a “qualifying person” live in your home for greater than half of the same tax year
If the parent doesn’t meet these 3 requirements, then he or she must file taxes as single
If you aren’t sure where you stand, please reach out to us at Southern Oaks Law Firm. At Southern Oaks, Lafayette family law attorney Taylor Fontenot believes his role is to protect your rights and interests while simultaneously working with everyone involved in order to minimize collateral damage and resolve disputes timely and efficiently. Call today and schedule a consultation with Taylor.