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Understanding some potential tax liability issues after a divorce

Texas residents may be interested in some information on one potential tax pitfall that divorcing couples might face. This generally comes up when one of the spouses is in charge of the couple's taxes and finances.

When a person is looking to get a divorce, there can be serious financial implications if their former spouse has not paid their taxes. That tax debt could be split between the two former spouses in the divorce or given entirely to the spouse who earns more income. If a spouse responsible for tax debt cannot pay it, they may have a lien put against their house, or they might face other collection measures taken against their assets.

Experts recommend that a person who is filing jointly with their spouse take precautions. If their spouse is given full control of the couple's taxes, the person should ensure that the tax returns are prepared properly and that the couple's tax liabilities are paid on time. Even when the couple filed their tax returns separately, some states' community property laws dictate that their tax debt is still shared after a divorce. For those who are expecting a tax refund after their divorce, it is important to know that the refund check will be mailed to the address on file. An agreement should be in place to ensure that the refund is split between the two former spouses in these situations.

There are many legal issues that can appear in a complex property division during a divorce. An attorney with experience in family law may be able to help a spouse throughout the process. This can include negotiating a fair division of marital property with their client's former spouse or representing them in front of a judge, if necessary.

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