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Texas: Divorce may have tax implications

The end of a marriage does not have to mean the beginning of tax confusion as long as an individual stays informed about the law. After a divorce, a person's taxes can be affected by the filing status, exemptions and alimony. Individuals in Texas who may be facing a divorce may be able to glean some information from a recent article sharing some of the ins and outs of post-marriage tax filing. 

The tax statuses of "married filing jointly" and "married filing separately" may be used as long as the couple remained married on the last day of the tax year. If, however, the divorce was granted at any time during the tax year, neither party can use either of those statuses. Rather, each may file as "single," or as "head of household." Thus, if the divorce goes through on December 31, the parties are considered divorced, for tax purposes, for the entire year.

If the person has children, the next concern may be how to claim the child on the tax return. Typically, the custodial parent will claim the child, but there are circumstances in which the noncustodial parent will be able to do so. Alimony payments will affect an individual's tax return as well. In most cases, the person sending the payments will be able to deduct them, and the person who receives the payments must report them as income. 

The full spectrum of tax laws are beyond the scope of a short article. Marriage and its dissolution can affect a person's tax status in a variety of ways. Many individuals in Texas choose to hire an attorney to assist them with the sometimes complex legalities of managing one's life during and after a divorce. 

Source: dmagazine.com, "Divorce Doesn't Mean It's Over...Yet", Oct. 23, 2017

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