Filing taxes each year can be a stressful endeavor for anyone. However, the process requires specific actions from divorced and unmarried parents when claiming dependents. The parents will have to decide who claims a child as a dependent, for example. A clear understanding of the ways to manage taxes each year can reduce confusion and disputes when it is time to file.
Many couples that get a divorce find it beneficial to include expectations pertaining to filing for taxes in the terms of their separation agreement. Matters could quickly become complicated if there is a lack of communication between the parents.
How unmarried parents plan to handle the process of filing taxes depends on several factors, such as the number of dependent children being claimed and who provides for the child's basic needs for more than six months of the year. It is possible, however, for one parent to waive the right to claim a child, thereby allowing the other parent to claim the child as a dependent instead. This can allow for some tax exemptions as well as tax credits.
Seeking legal guidance from a lawyer experienced in divorce and child custody cases can allow parents to plan the course of action that best suits their circumstances. A lawyer could help to ensure that issues such as taxes are included in a divorce agreement. Should a divorce go to court, a lawyer could represent their client in order to obtain the best possible outcome in matters of child custody and the division of assets.