How divorce can impact your tax liability

On Behalf of | Mar 20, 2023 | High-Asset Divorce |

Divorce is an arduous process that can impact many aspects of your life, including your tax liability. Understanding the tax consequences of divorce is essential for Illinois residents so that they can make informed decisions about their financial future.

Filing status

Your filing status will change after your divorce is finalized. You can no longer file a joint tax return with your former spouse. Instead, you must file as either single or head of household.


If you receive alimony payments from your former spouse, you must include them as taxable income on your tax return. If you pay alimony, you may be able to deduct those payments on your tax return. It’s important to note that child support payments are not tax deductible or taxable.

Property division

When you divide property as part of your divorce settlement, there may be tax implications. For example, if you receive a home as part of your settlement, you will be responsible for paying property taxes and other expenses associated with owning a home. Additionally, if you eventually sell the home, you may be subject to capital gains tax on any profit from the sale.

Retirement accounts

If you or your spouse have retirement accounts, such as a 401(k) or IRA, those accounts may need to be divided as part of your divorce settlement. Dividing retirement accounts can have significant tax consequences, especially in a high-asset divorce. For example, if you withdraw money from a retirement account before age 59 ½, you may be subject to a 10% early withdrawal penalty in addition to income tax on the amount withdrawn.


If you have children, it’s essential to determine who will claim them as dependents on their tax returns. The IRS has specific rules for claiming dependents, which you must follow to avoid potential tax issues.

Being aware of potential tax implications

Divorce can have significant tax implications, and it’s crucial to understand how it can impact your tax liability and overall finances. By considering the tax consequences of your divorce settlement, you can help ensure that you make informed decisions about your future.