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Divorce-related tax considerations

When Texas residents find themselves confronted by the prospect of divorce, taxes may be the last thing on their minds. This is the time of year, however, when it is important to consider if and how divorce proceedings can impact the tax-filing process.

Even if a person's divorce is not finalized, the significant change in his or her living situation and finances can have an impact on his or her tax return. TaxACT.com explains that divorce considerations can play a large role in people's filing status, which in turn affects their tax liabilities. For instance, if a person is the custodial parent of his or her child and has been separated from his or her spouse for a minimum of six months, he or she may be able to file as the "head of household." The head of household filing status is typically preferred over the married filing separately status when it comes to tax obligations.

Discussing the tax implications of divorce, TurboTax notes that many separated couples must file their taxes as married until their high-asset divorce is finalized. In such cases, people have the option of choosing "married filing separately" or "married filing jointly," and both filing statuses carry specific implications. Filing separately, for example, ensures that people are not held liable for their spouse's tax liabilities. However, filing jointly typically results in a lower combined tax bill. And while a number of other divorce-related issues can play into tax-filing procedures, child custody and support arrangements are known to impact tax returns and exemptions.

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