Are Divorce Costs Tax Deductible?

Divorce clients often wonder how much of the costs of their divorce is tax deductible. The answer is “not much.” The costs of attorneys and other professionals with regard to settlement of child time sharing, child support and property is not deductible. Neither are costs paid on behalf of the former spouse for their attorney of professional fees unless it meets the requirements of deductible alimony as outlined in the Internal Revenue Code. What else is deductible? Often costs of tax advice related to divorce, fees paid to collect alimony, fees to determine estate tax consequences of a property settlement and professionals’ fees (such as appraisers and actuaries) if the services were performed to assist in obtaining alimony or to determine the correct amount of tax can be deducted for tax purposes. The various professionals involved may need to bill specifically enough that the client can claim such benefits.

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