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Divorce and claiming dependents with the IRS

Who gets to claim dependents on their taxes can make a big difference after a divorce in Illinois. The person who claims dependents may also get to claim Head of Household status. Dependent status also impacts who gets the advantages of the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit, the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit. Often, the terms of the divorce agreement will set out who has the right to claim dependents, but where that is not the case, the IRS has rules that it will apply.

Prenups and other options for protecting a business in divorce

When couples in Illinois get a divorce, they will need to divide their property. If one of the parties owns a business, the situation can become complicated unless there is a pre- or postnuptial agreement that outlines what will happen to the company in case of divorce.

Liabilities, as well as assets, must be divided in divorce

Epic divorce battles are fought over which spouse gets the Illinois family home, retirement account, favorite car, or any number of expensive or personally treasured objects of value. And although it is never a good idea and sometimes can be damaging, the kids all too often become the pawns in child custody and child support matters. However, how liabilities are apportioned between the divorcing couple is just as important as each begins their new life.

How divorced parents can help children adjust to holidays

The holidays can be a tough time for parents and children in Illinois following a separation or divorce. Both may be feeling many different emotions, such as anger, loss, betrayal, sadness and fear. Parents must deal with these emotions in a way that does not impact on their children's holiday. The focus at this time needs to be on helping children adjust to the changes and still enjoy a happy holiday season.

How to avoid common financial mistakes of divorce

People in Illinois who are getting a divorce should make sure they avoid common financial errors. For example, it is important to take taxes into account when dividing some assets. A document called a qualified domestic relations order is necessary when dividing a 401(k), and a distribution must then be rolled into an IRA. This prevents taxes and penalties. People should also be aware that if they sell some assets to pay bills, there could be taxes on the sale.

TCJA to impact alimony, child support taxes

After being passed into law in December 2017, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act eliminated a number of deductions and exemptions, raised the Alternative Minimum Tax limit and reduced federal rates of taxation. Furthermore, this tax reform will affect the way child support and alimony are treated for Illinois residents. The TCJA gets rid of both dependent and personal exemptions and raises the standard deductions.

The link between divorce and health issues

Getting a divorce takes the number two spot on the Holmes-Rahe Stress Inventory. This tool measures how likely someone in Illinois or elsewhere will experience health problems related to stress within two years of an incident taking place. While divorce can be stressful for anyone, it may take an especially difficult toll on those who are 50 or older. Studying these issues can be important as the divorce rate for this age group has doubled since 1990.

"Gray divorce" on the rise

In Illinois and across the country, a growing number of older Americans is choosing to divorce. These statistics are part of a social trend that has been increasing over the decades, and the growth in baby boomer divorces is now being referred to as a "gray divorce revolution." Since 1990, the divorce rate for Americans aged 50 and older has doubled. At the same time, the divorce rate for people aged 65 and older has tripled. Divorce is more socially acceptable and familiar to people, but there is a number of specific factors that may affect a particular couple's decision to separate.

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