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Filing your taxes after a 2020 divorce

On Behalf of | Mar 5, 2021 | Divorce |

Tax season is here, and if you divorced in 2020, this year’s tax return may look very different than in years past. The following are some points to keep in mind if you are filing your taxes after divorcing in 2020.

What about the child tax credit?

Per the Internal Revenue Service, only one parent can claim a child as a dependent on their tax returns. So, you and your ex will have to agree on who will claim their child as a dependent. If you have two children, it is perfectly acceptable for you to claim one child as a dependent while your ex claims the other child as a dependent. Some divorcees choose to alternate years claiming the children as dependents. If you and your ex cannot reach an agreement, the Internal Revenue Service will generally say it is the custodial parent who can claim the child as a dependent.

Are child support and spousal support deductible?

Child support is not deductible from your taxes. It is considered a personal expense, just as it would be if you and your ex were still married. Also, spousal support is no longer tax deductible and the spouse receiving it does not have to count it as income on their tax return. Prior to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which went into effect January 2018, this was not the case.

Learn more about divorce

It is important to understand your filing status, what deductibles and credits you can claim, and what you have to pay. Taxes following a divorce can be complex, especially if you were married filing jointly for many years. This post is for educational purposes only and does not contain legal advice. Those who want to learn more about divorce are invited to explore our firm’s family law website for further information.