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Who Claims the Kids? Filing Your Income Tax After Divorce

Divorce and taxes: two topics we would avoid forever if we had the opportunity. Unfortunately, however, marital separation forces us to learn a whole new set of rules and laws that we never would have even thought about before, such as custody matters, division of property and what to do about claiming your children on April 15.

There are a variety of issues to iron out when it comes time to fill out your 2014 return, not the least of which is figuring out who claims the child as a dependent and the benefits to which that parent is entitled.

If you are recently divorced, chances are that the last thing you were thinking about was what when happens when Tax Day rolls around. However, tax season is now upon us, and it’s important that you know your rights – and the laws. Ignorance may be bliss, but it will bite you in the butt with the IRS.

Rather than spend time going back and forth with your ex about which one of you claims the children as dependents, make sure you know your rights as a parent or guardian to avoid confusion and unpleasantness. While the Internal Revenue Service claims to offer transparent and clear-cut guidelines on the issue of filing for divorced and separated couples, each tax situation can be as different as the divorce agreement itself. Understanding these issues can be incredibly complicated. As a single parent, every little bit helps and you probably can’t afford to miss out valuable tax deductions.

It’s true that the deduction will generally go to the parent with whom the child lives for most of the year. However, it’s important to know that the rules could be different for non-custodial parents or that there could be hidden dangers to filing jointly if the divorce is not yet finalized? Most people aren’t prepared to learn the intricacies of divorce and tax law, which is why it’s so important that you get sound advice from a skilled tax professional.

Divorce is usually messy enough without injecting tax issues into the matter. Make sure you have an attorney that can help you understand your rights as a parent. Graziano & Flynn offers helpful legal insight on a range of divorce issues and has been serving clients in New Jersey for years. Call us today so we can give you the guidance you need to get what you deserve.

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(Results may vary depending upon your particular facts and legal circumstances.)