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Unfiled Tax Returns and Divorce
In regard to divorcing parties, if individual income tax returns have not yet been filed, decisions need to be made in regard to the status of filing, including whether filing as joint tenants or married filing separate or otherwise. Although there could be some tax savings in regard to filing jointly, joint tax returns could expose one of the parties to tax liabilities for which they may not otherwise be liable.
All tax returns should be filed timely, including to avoid any civil and/or criminal tax issues. Going through a divorce is not a basis for not filing income tax returns timely.
In terms of tax liabilities or refunds, prior to or after any unfiled tax returns are filed, those issues can be addressed in a well-drafted settlement agreement pursuant to a Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage.
In Illinois, alimony is awarded without regard to marital misconduct. According to Illinois divorce law, the judge orders support from one spouse to the other if the parties cannot agree. The court awards alimony in a lump sum or for a fixed or indefinite period of time. The alimony may be paid from the income or property of the other spouse after considering all relevant factors, including the income and assets of each spouse, the needs of each party, the earning capacity of each party, any impairment of the earning capacity of the party seeking alimony caused by marital sacrifices, the time necessary for the receiving party to seek employment, the standard of living established while married, the length of the marriage, the age and health of both parties, and the contributions and services by the party seeking maintenance to the education or career potential of the other spouse.
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