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Fremont Family Lawyer Discusses Tax and Divorce

Fremont Family Law Attorney Discusses Taxes and Divorce
With tax season upon us if you are currently going through a divorce or separation it is very important to consider tax implications. The first question to consider is how to file your taxes. There are generally three options available. Filing as “Head of Household” may save you the most money and varies with income. In order to qualify you must pay more than half the cost of keeping up the home and a qualified person, such as a child, must be living with you.
The second option is to file jointly which may be more beneficial to you and your spouse, according to experts. Joint filing means you are both responsible for all taxes and are each entitled to a prorated share of any refunds. It also might put you in a better tax bracket. If there are additional taxes or penalties because of fraud or negligence on past returns, you could potentially qualify as an “innocent spouse.” Filing separately is generally the last way to file. This option usually means paying the most taxes. However, you are only responsible for your own taxes.
It is important to discuss with your spouse who will be claiming the deductions available in order to avoid both parties duplicating the deductions when filing separately which can lead to problems and penalties. Generally if you are in the middle of a divorce it has already been decided who will claim the children but if not that issue must be worked out. The dependency exemption is usually decided when the parties have a child support order. The parties must also decide how property deductions for mortgage interest and property tax payments will be allocated.
Specific questions about your return should be asked directly of your tax preparer but if you have any questions related to your divorce such as how to agree on who claims the children for the dependency exemption or who can file as head of household please contact our office to set up a free consultation. Our team of attorneys can explain all aspects of a divorce from property division to child and spousal support. We have attorneys in Monterey, San Jose, and Fremont who would be happy to assist you.