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Tax Consequences of Family Law

Let a Pittsburgh divorce attorney explain the ramifications to you!

Divorce, custody, and support have many ramifications. Some of the least obvious, but most common ramifications involve taxes. Asset transfers, alimony, child support, retirement fund transfers etc. all have their individual tax consequences, often with various limits and exceptions. Here are some of the most common tax related questions our firm hears:

Who claims the exemptions for the children?
Ordinarily a child will be the tax dependent of the primary custodial parent. However, the non-custodial parent can claim the child exemption through written agreement of the parties, if other conditions are also met.

What is my filing status for tax year 2013?
Filing status is determined as of December 31 of that year. If divorced by December 31, tax status would be single or head of household.

How can I qualify as "head of household"?
To be "head of household" one must be:

  1. Considered unmarried on December 31
  2. Primary custodian for more than half the year
  3. The primary payor on the cost of keeping up the house
  4. Eligible to claim the child as an exemption (even if the exemption was bargained away)

Are my legal fees tax deductible?
The general principle is that legal expenses are deductible only when used for the collection or production of taxable income. So, for example, legal fees to collect alimony or spousal support are deductible because you are taxed on alimony or spousal support. Legal fees to collect just child support or to get divorced are not because you don't pay taxes on just child support or the divorce decree.

Family law related issues can get complex and overwhelming fast. Don't try to figure out everything on your own or rely only on Google for answers! We are here to help and promise to provide you with the personal care, counsel and attention that you deserve. Give a Pittsburgh divorce lawyer from our firm a call today!