Divorcing in 2021 might affect your taxes next year

February 8, 2021

Taxes… even the word can make people shudder. Let’s face it, the tax code is confusing, especially when you throw divorce into the mix. I’m not a tax expert, but as an Illinois divorce attorney, I can help you navigate some of the tax issues that often arise during a separation.

Tax Filing Status: Married or Single?


If you were married on December 31st of the tax year, you have two options: “married filing jointly” or “married filing separately.” Which one you choose can significantly impact your taxes.

  • Married Filing Jointly: This usually offers the best tax breaks, but it requires cooperation with your soon-to-be ex.
  • Married Filing Separately: You’ll have less favorable deductions and credits, but it might be necessary if you can’t agree with your ex-spouse or want to avoid being held responsible for their tax liabilities.

If you’re planning to divorce, reviewing your tax withholding for the current year is a smart move. A free tax estimator can help you ensure you’re not under-withholding and facing a surprise tax bill next year. You can also adjust your W-4 form with your employer.

Who Gets the Kids as Tax Dependents After Divorce?


If you have children, deciding who claims them as dependents for tax purposes is another important consideration. Sometimes one parent taking all the deductions makes sense, while other times it’s best to share them. It depends on your specific financial situation and the parenting time arrangement.

Professional Parenting Plans: Thinking Ahead


Many online divorce forms and even the standard Illinois parenting plan don’t address these tax issues. However, a professionally drafted parenting plan will include provisions for allocating tax deductions, avoiding confusion and conflict down the road.

Remember: I’m not a tax expert, so if you have specific questions about your tax situation, it’s crucial to consult with a qualified professional. But as your divorce attorney, I can help you navigate the tax considerations that impact your divorce settlement and ensure your parenting plan reflects your best interests.

Need Guidance on Your Divorce in Illinois?


If you’re looking for an experienced attorney who can help you achieve a fair and amicable divorce, call my office at 618-726-2671 or reach out through my website for a free consultation.

Disclaimer: The information in this blog post is not intended as a substitute for professional legal or financial advice. Please consult with an attorney or tax professional to discuss your specific situation and options.