Tax Tips: Can I Deduct Divorce Attorney Fees?

tax tipsBy Jennifer M. Paine

Michigan Divorce Lawyer

It’s unlikely you can deduct your divorce attorney fees. However, some of the costs you incur as a result of your divorce may be deductible.

If you plan to itemize your deductions and your total miscellaneous deductions exceed 2% of your adjusted gross income, then you can deduct three types of fees.

1.) fees you paid for tax planning (such as your consultation with your CPA during your divorce to determine the best property settlement payout);

2.) fees you paid to obtain taxable income (such as your attorney fees for collecting spousal support, if you are the recipient); and

3.) fees you paid for securing an interest in a qualified retirement plan (such as those paid to divide your and your ex’s defined contribution plans).

If you do not itemize deductions or your deductions do not pass the 2% adjusted gross income test, then you cannot deduct these fees. This is worth running past your CPA with your itemized invoices and receipts for payment in hand.

Read more Divorce Tax Tips articles:

What Is My Tax Status?

Can I Claim The Dependency Exemption?

Can I Deduct Child Support?

Can I Deduct Alimony or Property Settlement Payments?

Can I Deduct Divorce Attorney Fees?

Note: This information is general in nature and should not be construed as tax advice. You should work with your attorney or tax professional to determine the tax advantages that will work best for your situation.


Jennifer M. Paine is a Michigan Divorce Lawyer with Cordell & Cordell. She is licensed to practice in Michigan, and has been admitted pro hac vice in Illinois, Ohio, and the United States Court of Federal Claims.

Ms. Paine received her BA in English and Mathematics from Albion College and graduated Summa Cum Laude. She received her Juris Doctorate from MSU College of Law and graduated Summa Cum Laude.

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