Understanding how the new tax laws impact people after divorce

by | Jun 26, 2019 | Divorce

When people in Missouri are thinking about a divorce or have already gotten a divorce, there are still lingering issues that must be considered. This is especially true when children are part of the process. Since the tax laws have changed and it impacts deductions and divorced parents, it is important to understand what it means when seeking deductions. The facts of any given situation will largely dictate how these issues are handled.

When a couple is separated or divorced, the designation of a parent as the primary custodian is critical to tax considerations. If a parent has primary custody, that parent is legally allowed to say that the child is their dependent. In cases in which there is an even split for custody, but there is no written agreement saying who is claiming the child on their taxes, it must be decided which parent will make the claim and derive the tax benefits. Some parents decide to have 50-50 custody and alternate the years they will get tax benefits.

The Internal Revenue Service has certain tests that it uses to decide if a child meets the requirements for a deduction. Some are vital to divorced parents, including the relationship, the child’s age, residency, support and family income. Regarding the relationship, the dependent is required to be the son, daughter, foster child, grandchild, sibling, a step-sibling or a relative like a niece or nephew. As for age, the child must be under 19, be a fulltime student or disabled. The living arrangements must have the child living with the parent for more than half the year. The child cannot provide more than half of his or her own support.

Divorce can be a complex matter and it is harder when there are children involved. Financially, the changes to the tax laws has added another layer of concern. Since the laws went into effect this year, it has already impacted people who are getting a divorce. Now, with the laws in place and people who are divorcing facing a host of other concerns, they should know about taxes in the context of divorce, child custody and child support under the applicable divorce laws.

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