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Taxes and Divorce
Ah April 15th. Tax Day here in the United States. This year we actually get a break as the 15th turns out to be a Sunday but alas, the tax man cometh and there’s not much we can do. But what about taxes and divorce? Do you really know what the tax implications of your settlement will be today? Tomorrow? 10 years from now? All excellent questions to ask your mediator. As a divorce mediator with an MBA in Finance, I am acutely aware of what taxes can do to a settlement. There are the obvious kind like when you go to sell your house will there be a capital gain on it and then there are the hidden ones like what was the cost basis of an investment you just got handed in your property settlement agreement? Sure it looked great on paper but are you going to get whacked once you go to sell it while in the meantime you ex took all the tax losses and laughed all the way to their accountant?
When it comes to taxes and divorce, there are a few simple rules you need to keep in mind:
At the end of the day you need to realize that taxes and divorce go hand in hand and so it’s critical that you have a mediator that understands the impact taxes can have on your final settlement and when in doubt I say get the advice of an accountant or CPA. Sure we may discuss the tax issues in session of your settlement, but these folks eat, sleep and breathe taxes (literally at this time of year) and have a grasp of the subject that we mere mortals simply do not.
If the divorce is being filed under one of the seven fault grounds (including extreme cruelty, adultery, abandonment, substance or alcohol addiction, institutionalization, deviant sexual conduct and incarceration), the 18 month separation period, required for a no-fault divorce, is waived. However, each ground for divorce has its own stipulations.
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