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When you get a divorce, it brings up the question about how to file your income taxes. Will you file jointly or singly for 2015? Who gets to claim the kids as dependents?

It all comes down to your marital status at midnight on December 31st, for that is what's used to determine whether you file jointly or as a single person.

So, if you were officially divorced by midnight December 31st, you would file as a single person, even if you were technically married for part of the tax year in question. If you were still in the middle of your divorce on December 31st, you may file jointly.

Can I claim my kids as dependents?

Who gets to take the exemption for our dependent children? This is usually negotiated in the divorce proceedings and ultimately outlined in the divorce decree. However, if it isn't for some reason, it's the custodial parent (the one who receives child support) who gets the exemptions for the couple's dependent children.

If you happened to have joint custody, the parent who had the children for a greater number of days during the tax year is the one who gets the exemption for the children.

Were you given the child exemptions in your divorce decree, even though you had your children for less than 6 months out of the year? In that case, you need to have your ex-husband or wife sign a form for the IRS so be sure to consult with your tax specialist about this matter.

If you are entitled to the exemptions for your children, we recommend filing early in case your ex-spouse decides to object. If they decide to object, the IRS will require him or her to prove that they are entitled to the exemption before the agency will accept it since you already claimed it.

When in doubt, always consult with your tax professional.

For further advice, contact a Pennsylvania no-fault divorce attorney from Cairns Law Offices. All of our initial consultations are free!

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