Divorce and Tax Considerations 2019

By Allison Fredrickson

Tax consequences and benefits are sometimes overlooked when getting divorced. It is important to consult with a skilled family law attorney to look at the big picture and talk through the effects of the new tax rules on your divorce.

Here are some common questions we see:

Do I file single or married for 2018?

Your tax filing status is determined on December 31st of each year. If you were still married on that date, you have to file married filing jointly or married filing separately. Most accountants can run tax scenarios to determine what would benefit you the most from a tax filing perspective.

Is spousal maintenance deductible in 2019?

It depends on when your divorce was final. Any decree that included maintenance and allowed for the deductibility of spousal maintenance and was signed on or before December 31, 2018 qualifies for a deduction on taxes and can be included as income on the payee’s tax return. If you are divorced in 2019 or anytime thereafter, spousal maintenance is non-deductible and not included as income on the payee’s tax return.

Who gets the write-offs for property taxes and mortgage interest?

If you are filing as single or married filing separately, make sure you agree on who gets to deduct the property taxes and mortgage interest for the previous year. You cannot both claim these items on your tax returns.

Who gets to take the kids as exemptions and how do you go about releasing them to the other parent?

You have to agree on who gets to claim the children as dependents. Through 2025, the $4,050 exemption you used to be able to claim for each dependent is being removed. To counterbalance this, the child tax credit, which compensates for the taxes you owe will double from $1,000 to $2,000. Again, it is a good idea to look at the entire tax picture and decide what has the biggest tax advantage.

Form 8332 is the form that you use for each child you want to release to be claimed.


questions about this topic?

If you have any questions about the new tax rules on your divorce, please contact our family law attorney Allison Fredrickson at 651-439-2878 to discuss your options.

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