Considerations for filing taxes after a Maryland divorce

Filing taxes after divorce may seem like an intimidating process for Maryland residents who are unsure exactly how to navigate doing so under a new marital status. There are some tips that those who are already divorced or going through a divorce can consider when getting ready to file their taxes. First, individuals should be careful to use the proper marital status when doing their taxes. This means using their marital status as of the last day in December of the tax year they are doing their taxes for, even if that was different from the later date when they actually file their taxes.

Another money-saving step is to be sure to claim exemptions for all children that a person is authorized to claim. In order to do this, a divorced spouse must typically be considered the custodial parent of the child in question. Sometimes, however, the custodial parent may authorize the other parent to take advantage of the exemption claim. This typically requires filing a specific IRS form so an individual needs to be sure they properly understand their rights for claiming such child-related exemptions.

Another important tax consideration surrounding children after divorce is understanding how child support works. Former spouse are not allowed to deduct child support on their taxes, but on the flip side child support is not considered taxable income once it is received, either. Divorced individuals should also make sure they understand requirements for alimony, since it is typically handled differently than child support.

One final thing for Maryland spouses going through divorce to consider is staying apprised of any changes in tax law for the applicable tax year. This may require obtaining the services of a divorce attorney who also understands how such issues could affect a person's tax filings after a divorce is finalized. Doing so could help such individuals feel more confident as they file their tax returns after going through the life-changing process of divorce.

Source: Forbes, "Taxes And Divorce: 6 Tips For Women," Kerry Hannon, March 7, 2013