Forward Thinking Family Law Since 1994

Tax Planning

We are not tax attorneys and do not give definitive tax advice, but we can refer you to qualified tax professionals.

Divorcing couples should consider these effects on their taxes:

Filing status and exemptions
Dependent exemptions
Spousal support
Retirement benefits

Filing status and exemptions

A divorced or divorcing couple’s filing status is determined as of the last day of a tax year, usually December 31.

  • For tax purposes, a couple is no longer married when a judge signs a final divorce decree or separate maintenance judgment.
  • If you have had custody of a child for more than six months and are not remarried by the end of the calendar year, you may qualify for Head-of-Household status.

Dependent exemptions

  • Parents often split the exemptions when there are multiple children.
  • Parents of one child often alternate the exemption.
  • Child support is paid in after-tax dollars. There is no deduction for it. 

Spousal support

  • Spousal support is treated as income to the receiving spouse, and a tax deduction for the paying spouse.
  • Spousal support can be an effective tool for reducing taxes. 

Retirement benefits

  • Retirement plans/benefits can be divided in a divorce. For employer-provided plans, a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) assigns a portion of the benefits of a qualified retirement plan to a spouse.
  • IRA plans usually do not require QRDOs to be divided.
  • When the receiving spouse withdraws the money, that spouse will be taxed on the amount withdrawn.

Schedule a Consultation

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.