Rush For Divorce By Year End? You Can Slow Down Now

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Rush For Divorce By Year End? You Can Slow Down Now

There has been a lot of coverage in the news lately of people rushing to divorce before the end of the year for tax advantages. These stories are somewhat misleading. While you should of course consult your accountant, the rule generally is that if you are divorced on or before December 31st of the year, you can file your taxes as if you were single for the whole year. This is similar to the “Daddy’s little tax deduction” situation where children born on December 31st can be claimed as a tax deduction for the whole year.

What these articles do not tell you, at least in New York is that the divorce doesn’t happen that quickly. After a divorce has been filed, assuming negotiations have worked out well and the agreement and final paperwork have been filed with the court (which itself can take some time), the Judge does not necessarily sign the judgment for several months after all the paperwork is been filed. So if you wanted to be divorced by December 31st of 2016, you would have had to have started last January or February. Filing now before December 31st only gives you a head start for being divorced at the end of 2017.

That is not to say that there cannot be some tax planning left to do in 2016. For instance, maintenance is normally tax deductible to the payor and income to the payee. For people currently going through a divorce or contemplating divorce a frank conversation with your accountant will give you some answers to questions about how your divorce agreement will affect your taxes and therefore your bottom line. You will want to know the consequences of the bargain you strike in your agreement and most matrimonial attorneys will not be qualified to give tax advice. If this is your first year in this situation and your agreement is already signed, you might want to have a discussion with your accountant about how this will affect you.

By | 2017-01-13T15:45:57+00:00 December 16th, 2016|Divorce Law, Mediation|0 Comments

About the Author:

Deborah E. Kaminetzky is the founding member of Kaminetzky Law & Mediation, P.C. located in Cedarhurst and Garden City, New York. Prior to starting the firm Deborah worked at a Long Island firm where she learned the practice of Matrimonial and Family law and Estate Planning. Deborah has also worked at the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs where she was responsible for prosecuting unlicensed home improvement contractors and negotiating settlements for consumers. Prior to practicing law, Ms. Kaminetzky was the president of a commercial property management corporation in the New York Metro area. Ms. Kaminetzky is a member of the American Bar Association (General Practice, Solo and Small firm Division and Law Practice Management Sections), National Association of Divorce Professionals, New York State Council on Divorce Mediation, Family and Divorce Mediation Council of Greater New York, New York State Bar Association (Business Law, Estate, Family Law, ADR and General Practice Sections), Nassau County Bar Association (where she serves as Vice Chair of the General, Solo and Practice Management Committee, and is active in the Community Relations and Education Committee) and The Nassau County Women’s Bar Association. Ms. Kaminetzky was appointed to the Committee on Law Practice Management of the New York State Bar Association in 2015 and has been a frequent speaker and author of articles for their journal. Ms. Kaminetzky serves on the Board of Directors of the Yashar Attorney and Judges Chapter of Hadassah as a their Treasurer, and was their Woman of the Year 2012. Deborah graduated from New York Law School in 1991 and the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor in 1986. Ms. Kaminetzky was admitted to the First Department in 1991 and the United States Supreme Court Bar in February of 2015. Deborah is on the Matrimonial fee dispute arbitration panel for Nassau County. She expanded her alternative dispute resolution practice by completing a Mediation certificate program in December of 2013, an advanced Mediation certificate program in 2015 and most recently a Divorce Mediation certificate in early 2016 from The New York Peace Institute. Ms. Kaminetzky has spoken to various groups on topics including matrimonial law, technology and social media use, and disaster preparedness for business including cybersecurity.