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What to know about filing taxes after divorce

Divorcing your spouse can upend your life in numerous ways, potentially impacting everything from where you live and work to how often you get to see your children. While you may focus your energy on rebuilding the fundamental aspects of your life in the wake of a divorce, you must also consider how your new marital status will impact you come tax time.

Divorce brings with it certain tax-related implications, and understanding how your tax needs will change should help you avoid experiencing problems or unnecessary delays in processing after filing. So, what do you need to know about filing taxes in the wake of divorce?

You need to change your name promptly

If you plan to change your name following your divorce, do not delay in doing so. You need to file your taxes using the name the U.S. Social Security Administration has on file for you. If you do not, you could wind up facing unnecessary hardship or delay.

You need to decide who will claim shared children

You and your one-time spouse will also need to figure out which of you is going to claim any children you share on your taxes. Typically, the parent who has primary custody over the child or children will be the one to utilize this tax benefit, but this does not necessarily have to be the case.

You need to use the correct filing status

After your divorce, you need to file as a single person, rather than someone married and filing separately, or married and filing jointly. Your marital status on the last day of the tax year for which you file must be the marital status you use when filing your taxes.

While these are some of the key matters you need to work through when filing taxes after divorce, please note this is not an exhaustive list of all possible implications.

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