Filing Taxes as the Head of Household During Divorce

When you’re divorced, or separated and in the midst of a divorce, taxes can feel a bit more complicated. Once, you probably knew easily who was head of household according to taxes. How you file matters; it makes a difference in your deductions and tax rates, as opposed to filing jointly, or as a single person. If you are a single parent with a low income, it could mean a more significant tax refund.

Claiming Head of Household During Divorce

girl-476977_1280In order to file as the head of household, you need to meet a few requirements. First, your spouse cannot have lived in the home with you for at least the last six months of the year for which you’re filing, and your children must have lived with you in the home for more than six months of the year. You must make sure that your spouse won’t be filing jointly. More than half the cost of home maintenance must have fallen to you for the tax year.

Your children must be dependents and must be the right ages, and you must be the custodial parent, even if your spouse will claim a dependency exemption. The IRS’s definition of who may qualify as the custodial parent is specific; you must have lived with your children and spent more nights with them than your ex-spouse. If you have joint physical custody and equal time with your children, then the person with the highest income is the custodial parent. If one parent works at night, then the parent who spends the most days with the children is the custodial parent.

There are situations in which both parents may file as head of household. When custody is split, both parents must have at least one child with them for the greater part of the year. Neither may support the other, and both parents’ finances must be separate.

When you need help determining how to file as head of household during divorce, seek the help of your tax specialist. When it comes to custody arrangements, divorce, and family law in Florida, come to Miller Law. We are here to help you through, and help you understand your divorce.

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