Interpreting Divorce Decree Tax Clauses

divorce lawyer Katie PetersenQuestion:

My question is about taxes and claiming dependents if we were divorced less than a year ago.

Our divorce agreement states that each of us would claim one child as a dependent until they are 18, though nothing specifically mentions how to handle 2012, the year we were divorced.

I’ve mentioned doing “married filing jointly” to her recently and she didn’t agree to it.

Can I legally claim them all as dependents for 2012 regardless of whether she agrees even if she files separately?


I am unable to give you legal advice on divorce. I can give general divorce help for men, though, my knowledge is based on Georgia divorce laws where I am licensed to practice.

The first step in determining whether you can claim your ex-wife and your two children as dependents is to look at the language in your separation agreement.

While your agreement does not specifically describe how to file your taxes in 2012, the agreement does likely generally address who is entitled to claim whom as dependents.

Therefore, a court would likely interpret your agreement regarding taxes to apply to every relevant tax year. A court would likely reason that your agreement would have to have specific language if your intent was for the tax provision to not apply to 2012 since it was signed in that year.

Remember, I am unable to provide you with anything more than divorce tips for men, so please consult with divorce lawyers for men in your jurisdiction.

To arrange an initial consultation to discuss divorce rights for men with a Cordell & Cordell attorney, including Atlanta Divorce Lawyer Katherine Petersen, please contact Cordell & Cordell.

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One comment on “Interpreting Divorce Decree Tax Clauses

    You are considered divorced for 2012 if you are divorced as of 12/31. In fact, you can NOT file a joint return if your divorce was finalized in 2012.

    Based on this, whatever you agreed to do for tax purposes is in effect for your 2012 taxes.

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