Tax Filing Status: How Will It Change with Divorce?

Tax Filing Status: How will it change with divorce? - divorce, divorce mediation, taxes, tax filing - Peace Talks Mediation Services - Image by <a href="">Gerd Altmann</a> from <a href="">Pixabay</a>When you and your spouse decide to utilize a collaborative divorce approach, both of you will have access to neutral financial mediators.

Financial mediators can help prepare schedules that project cash flows, net worth, and the tax effects of your proposed settlements.

They are often asked these 3 tax questions:

  1. How should I file my taxes?

Filings are based on your marital status as of the last day of the tax year.

If you are unmarried, your filing status is:

  • Single, or
  • If you meet specific requirements, Head of Household

If you are still married, the filing status is, married filing:

  • Jointly or
  • Separately
  1. Can I file as head of household?

Yes, if the taxpayer is:

  • Unmarried or “considered unmarried” on the last day of the year,
  • Paid more than half the cost of keeping up a home for the year, and
  • Had a “qualifying person” live with them in their home for more than half the year (except for temporary absences, such as school).
  1. What qualifies a taxpayer to be Unmarried?

The taxpayer is considered unmarried, if they meet ALL of these requirements, as of December 31:

  • They are submitting a separate return;
  • Paid more than half the cost of keeping up their home for the tax year;
  • Their spouse did not live in their home during the last 6 months of the tax year; and
  • Their home was, for more than half the year, the main house of their child, stepchild, adopted child, or foster child whom you could claim as a dependent

When you become divorced, your taxes can take on a life of their own!

At Peace Talks, our team has the experience and expertise to provide complete and accurate financial information. We will work effectively with you, your attorneys, and other professionals to accomplish your goals in a collaborative environment.

Contact us today!

Note: This information is general in nature and should not be construed as legal/financial/tax advice. You should work with your attorney, financial, or tax professional to determine what will work best for your situation.

How Does A Divorce Change Your Finances?

How Does A Divorce Change Your Finances? - Peace Talks Mediation Services - Divorce, Divorce Mediation, Finances - Copyright: <a href="">dolgachov / 123RF Stock Photo</a>

Are you in the very beginning stages of getting a divorce? Concerned at what your financial landscape will look like once your separation has been finalized?

One thing is for sure, many things will change after a divorce, and one of the most significant changes will be your finances.

Here are a few financial thoughts to keep in mind as you and your partner begin this difficult chapter:

  • Taxes can be impacted in various ways
  • Make sure to learn about ALL of your financial accounts, income streams, debts and assets
  • Alimony and child support payments can quickly drain your accounts
  • You and your ex will still be responsible for any shared debt
  • Think with a clear head, not a broken heart
  • Reach out to a financial mediator who is experienced in the divorce process

Going through a divorce is a time for significant life-altering adjustments and great emotional distress.

It’s vital to reach out to a financial expert who can objectively review your finances and discuss with you and your spouse various scenarios that may be available for both of you to reach a settlement that takes into consideration the entire family.

At Peace Talks, our team of experts focuses solely on mediating family law conflicts. We are a full-service mediation firm that specializes in helping people in Southern California settle their divorce in a sane and sensible manner.

We begin by helping you to articulate your financial needs, concerns, and objectives. Then, we help you identify accurate values for your assets, debts, income streams and expenses.

Whether you are getting divorced, planning your estate or negotiating a premarital agreement, our team of experienced, skilled divorce mediators and family law mediators will create practical solutions to difficult financial situations.

Contact us today to see how we can help you navigate through your finances in a civil co-operative environment!

Note: This information is general in nature and should not be construed as legal/financial/tax advice. You should work with your attorney, financial, or tax professional to determine what will work best for your situation.

More Divorce Mediator Tips

Here’s a couple more tips from the article I saw by Oren Kaufmann on the website.

Don’t be penny wise and pound-foolish.

Imagine the following not so unusual scenario. You have resolved all the tough issues and for some reason these one or two remain “as a matter of principle“. It makes no sense financially to terminate mediation and turn it over to lawyers because you cannot resolve these issues. The financial and emotional costs are likely to be very high. Unfortunately, despite these dangers, I see people doing this repeatedly (or at least contemplating it). Remember that arguing over “principle” can be a very dangerous and expensive proposition costing what otherwise could have been investment “principal.”The ultimate agreement should be based on a rational financial analysis. The problem and challenge is that this isn’t just a business deal. There are multiple layers of emotions involved. If it is emotionally based- i.e. revenge, guilt, anger, fear- there will inevitably be problems down the road.

The PeaceTalks mediation sessions are always supported by whatever type of financial and psychological professionals the couple might request as most of the difficult negotiations center around assets and income accompanied by anger.

Find someone to talk with.

Having someone you trust that you can talk about this with is critical. It may be that you talk with one person about the financial and one person about the emotional. Remember to careful about not confusing support and a good sounding board with nonsense based on some incorrect legal information/advice they received from a relative or friend.

That aside, having someone with whom you can discuss the process is invaluable and PeaceTalks can refer therapists.

Oran Kaufman-runs Amherst Mediation Services in Amherst, MA and he is a former president of the Massachusetts Council on Family Mediation.

Safety & Politics It’s All Local

by Stephanie Maloney

A man was being questioned late Wednesday in connection with a threat to Pierce College that prompted administrators to cancel classes for the night, officials said. Someone overheard the threat and reported it to authorities, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

That’s exactly the way it’s supposed to go when it happens except for the part where it’s happening when my child and I are in the car on our way to a class at Pierce College.

All of a sudden the cliché “all politics are local” makes mothers like me want to scream at the “talking heads” (apologies to David Byrne) on the TV screen. We have seen too many parents bury children and too many children bury friends. What these kids in Parkland are doing with their fear and anger is amazing.

My other child still in school was in the middle of 2 shootings at UCLA last year and we’re lucky that she is a strong young woman and able to talk with us about it.
The elevated level of anxiety is something we are trying to address with the kids but it is hard to do in a divorce.

I can only encourage you to work as a team-this co-parenting thing is not going to get any easier. If an opportunity to show the kids that we, the adults in the room are going to find a way to make this stop please take it as the kids need to believe we’re “gonna be all right”.

Divorce To Get More Acrimonious

Husbands Showing More Concern About Repeal of Alimony Deduction

by Stephanie Maloney

January 2019 may be far out on the calendar but a survey from the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML) got my attention with some calculations about alimony and acrimony.

Chicago, IL, February 14, 2018 – It seems that the federal government has made divorce a more emotionally taxing proposition for the nation.  According to a survey of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML), an overwhelming 95% of members anticipate the new tax plan will change the ways in which divorces are settled and a clear majority of 64% believes that the cases will now become more acrimonious.  In addition, 62% of the respondents feel that the changes in the tax plan offers a greater benefit to the payee in terms of spousal support and 59% are finding that husbands are showing a greater sense of concern in regards to the repeal of the alimony deduction.

“The new tax plan will most certainly alter the ways in which divorce cases are settled and couples need to be prepared for these changes,” said Madeline Marzano-Lesnevich, president of the AAML.  “The elimination of the alimony tax deduction has removed a powerful negotiating tool and turned it into a difficult stumbling block for spouses trying to settle a divorce.”

Fortunately, by definition, in mediation sessions we start with the goal being a level playing field and both parties in agreement about complete transparency.

If alimony is a factor in your life be prepared for changes. You will have a clearer picture after tax season and then roughly six months to renegotiate your settlement. I say six months because you’ll want to done well before the end of the year. As post-settlement renegotiating is one of our specialties please give a call and we’ll talk about your situation and how we might be of help.

To view this on the AAML website click here

Make Some Time-Take Some Time

by Stephanie Maloney

The pictures from the Florida School shooting will be tough to digest and tougher to forget. Without getting maudlin-hug the kids a little tighter, a little longer and get some pizza and ice cream-or just a smoothie and some sushi. Whatever it is do something ordinary that you don’t ordinarily do even if it means taking some time from your workday.

If the kids are not an option go do something that you enjoy.  Valentine’s Day is always a tough one because memories uncontrollably come rolling over us; and it’s tough to block out just the bad ones.

If nothing else go do something physical that will have its own rewards. There are a couple of months left before the warm weather starts and you will feel better if you look better and just walking can help put color in your cheeks.

If you’d like to talk with some other people dealing with Divorce we’re starting a support group on Tuesday nights. Send an email to:

and we’ll let you know all the details as they are finalized

It’s wedding season. Time for a prenup?

Yes, I know, most people don’t think prenups are particularly romantic. But when you think about it, is it romantic to fight about money, how to raise children, or to wonder what would happen if you got divorced?Â

That’s the reason we mediate premarital agreements. Sometimes, at the end of the discussion, the couple decides they don’t want a written agreement….but everyone appreciates the discussion. Not every subject is easy….but wouldn’t you rather have the hard talks before you get married, rather than afterwards?

We find that at the end of the process couples are closer than ever.

Yes, once in awhile couples come in and discuss things….and decide not to get married. As hard as that decision is, they’re glad that they made the decision to postpone or cancel their wedding before the invitations went out. It doesn’t happen very often……but once in awhile.

More often, clients report that going over the premarital checklist is the start of a really productive discussion that makes them feel more connected than ever.