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Divorced parents stay legal by heeding state and federal tax laws

Georgia couples that divorce will find it not only changes them as a family unit, but it also affects them at tax time. Many tax filers, after a first divorce, may be shocked to discover that alimony, or spousal support, is a taxable income and may not be aware of how much they actually owe the IRS. Knowing how a divorce will affect one's tax situation may prepare divorced couples so that they aren't taken by surprise by a large amount of debt.

High income parents who receive alimony checks are advised to take 20 percent off the top and put it in a separate checking account. This ensures that the money will be available to pay taxes if necessary later on.

Divorcees should also be aware that children under age 18 can be claimed as tax deductions as long as divorced parents reach an understanding on child custody issues and decide who will claim them on the return. For the first couple of years, using the services of a professional tax preparer is wise. Professionals are up to date on the latest tax laws, and they are much more practiced at preparing tax returns and finding legitimate deductions to claim.

Filers who end up owing taxes that they aren't prepared for may find that they are able to make quarterly payments to satisfy the Internal Revenue Service. An installment plan might be worked out, but interest and penalties will apply. Divorced parents with questions on how financial support from their ex-spouse will affect their particular tax situation may benefit from seeking the advice of an experienced family law attorney.

Source: Huffington Post, "Divorce Is Taxing in More Ways Than One", Amy Koko, June 07, 2013