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Tax considerations for divorcing couples

Tax considerations often get pushed to the wayside during a divorce, as there are a number of other important issues that must be dealt with. However, at some point, taxes will need to be considered and if you're on decent terms with your soon-to-be ex-spouse, it is a good idea to sit down and talk about various tax issues. Here are a few of the questions that you may have when it comes to filing taxes after a divorce.

-- What is my filing status after I divorce? It depends. If you were divorced before Dec. 31 of the previous year, then you would file as single. If you have children and they live with you for more than half the year, you may be able to file as Head of Household.

-- Who claims alimony and child support? The payor of the child support will pay taxes on his or her income. The payor of alimony can deduct the amount off his or her taxes. The person who receives alimony must claim it as income.

-- Who claims the children? This can either be decided by the parents during a divorce or can be determined after the divorce is final. If the higher earning spouse makes too much money, then he or she may want to let the other parent claim the children.

-- Who claims medical expenses? The parent who pays for the children's health care insurance and/or medical expenses is usually who claims these expenses.

As you can see, there are many considerations when it comes to taxes after a divorce. It's best to seek advice from a tax professional, financial planner or legal professional in order to make sure you aren't claiming anything that might result in an audit.

Source: Forbes, "Getting Divorced? 8 Things You Must Know about Taxes" Emma Johnson, Jan. 19, 2015

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