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Divorce and Taxes in Georgia

by Sharon Jackson  on March 25, 2022 under 

Divorce changes many things, including your tax status. The IRS has complicated tax rules, and each couple's situation is different when going through a divorce or becoming legally separated. It's smart to consider tax implications during the negotiations for your divorce or separate maintenance and to make sure they are entered into your agreement. An experienced family lawyer can provide guidance and protect your rights about divorce and taxes, but they cannot advise you on taxes. Many couples consult a financial advisor as part of their divorce team to help them divide assets and plan for a financial future after divorce.

Here are some common issues regarding divorce and taxes in Georgia.

Tax Status

  • Married Filing Jointly:
    If your divorce was not finalized as of December 31, 2021, the IRS considers you a married couple for that tax year, and you cannot file as single.
  • Head of Household:
    If you choose to file a separate tax return and were separated for at least 6 months of the tax year, there are advantages to filing as Head of Household.
  • Individual:
    If your divorce was finalized by the end of the year, you can file as an unmarried individual.

Your tax or financial advisor can advise you which option provides the greatest tax benefits for your situation.

Taxes and Child Support

Child support payments, both temporary or permanent, are tax-free and are not tax-deductible for the person that pays child support or the person that pays and is not considered as income for the person that receives child support.

Taxes and Dependents

Both parents cannot claim the same children as tax exemptions. This is a federal issue and is routinely not outlined in divorce decrees. If you have a 50/50 Parenting Plan, your Settlement Agreement needs to specify how the taxes will be handled.

Taxes and the 2021 Child Credit

The IRS stipulates only one parent can claim the 2021 child credit per child per year. For divorced or legally separated parents, the parties may agree on which parent should receive the tax credit. One parent may be awarded the credit or the parties can choose to alternate the credit.

Taxes and Alimony

The Federal tax code changes that went into effect on January 1, 2019, apply to all Georgia divorce and separate maintenance agreements and alimony payments.

  • If you pay alimony, you can no longer deduct it from your taxable income.

Taxes and Assets

  • Mortgage:
    If you have a mortgage and are now the sole homeowner, you may qualify for a mortgage deduction on your taxes. If you are co-owners of your home, your divorce settlement should specify which spouse is entitled to the mortgage deduction.
  • Tax Refund:
    If you are entitled to a tax refund on last year's taxes and filed as a married couple, the divorce agreement should specify which party will receive the refund.

Speak With A Qualified Georgia Family Law Attorney

Divorce and taxes are complicated issues. Divorce lawyers do not provide tax advice but can make sure that tax questions are addressed in your divorce decree or separate maintenance agreement. If you have questions about your tax status after or while you are going through a divorce in Georgia, an experienced Georgia divorce and family law attorney can provide guidance and help you find the financial experts and resources to protect your rights and your family.

Attorney Sharon Jackson has years of legal experience in Gwinnett County and surrounding areas, sensitivity to family dynamics, and has helped numerous Georgia parents secure favorable outcomes for themselves and their children in difficult family law cases.

Call Attorney Sharon Jackson today at (678) 436-3636 or use our online contact form to schedule an appointment.


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