How does a legal separation affect your taxes?

When you and your spouse are legally separated in New Jersey, you may think most about the day-to-day aspects of your separation. Your separation usually affects your taxes, though, and as tax season approaches, it is important to understand what factors you need to consider.

Your child support usually affects your taxes when you are legally separated. According to Marriage.com, you and your spouse cannot both claim your children as tax exemptions. You may want to decide in advance which of you will benefit most from these tax savings. If you have more than one child, it might sometimes be best if you each claim one of the children on your taxes. It is important to remember that your child support payments usually are not tax-deductible. Additionally, your spousal support is another factor to consider as you prepare to file your taxes. If you currently pay spousal support, you can usually deduct these payments. If you receive these payments, though, they are considered taxable income.

You usually need to meet three requirements if you to want to file your taxes as the head of your own household. Your children generally need to live with you for the majority of the year and your marriage usually needs to be considered legally ended by New Year’s Eve. Additionally, you typically need to have paid most of the expenses for your home.

It is important to remember that even if you are legally separated, you are usually still considered legally married. This means that you may sometimes still need to file a joint tax return. The types of deductions you can claim typically depend on whether you file a joint or head of household tax return, so it is a good idea to consult with a tax professional.

This information is general in nature. It should not be used in place of legal advice.