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DuPage County divorce attorneyEven if you and your spouse own significant assets, you may experience financial difficulties after your divorce. This can occur because of large costs during the divorce process, due to wasting or dissipation of assets by one spouse, or because you have trouble covering your ongoing expenses on a single income. The situation can become even worse if the IRS informs you that you owe money based on tax returns that were filed while you were married. Fortunately, you may have options for addressing this issue and ensuring that you will not be penalized for your spouse’s actions.

Understanding Post-Divorce Tax Debts and Innocent Spouse Relief

Both you and your ex-spouse are responsible for taxes on any joint tax returns you filed while you were married. This means that if the IRS decides to audit you based on any of these tax returns and it determines that taxes are owed, it can take action to collect the amount owed from both you and your spouse. Even if your divorce decree states that your spouse will be solely responsible for these tax debts, the IRS can disregard the court’s orders in these matters and collect money from both of you.

However, if errors on your tax returns were the sole fault of your ex, you may be able to avoid liability through innocent spouse relief. To qualify for relief, you will need to show that any underpayment of taxes occurred because of errors made by your ex-spouse on a joint tax return. At the time you signed the tax return, you must not have known or have had any reason to know about these errors. If the IRS determines that the tax debts are the fault of your ex-spouse and that it would be unfair to hold you responsible for these errors, you will not be required to pay these debts.

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High Income Divorce Can Change Child Support CalculationsThe process for determining child support payments is mostly standardized during Illinois divorce cases. An Illinois divorce judge is likely to adhere to the state’s child support formula, which was recently changed to an income shares model. The parents’ net incomes are combined, and each parent will pay a proportionate percentage of child expenses based on comparative income and the division of parenting time. Illinois’ child support law gives divorce courts discretion in determining the payment in certain circumstance. Thus, child support in high income divorces may be calculated differently than when using Illinois’ standard model.

State Guidelines

In response to the new child support law, the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services created a new income shares table for determining child support obligations. The table uses the parents’ combined monthly net incomes and the number of children they have to calculate how much of their incomes should go towards supporting their children. Each parent pays a share of the child expenses that is proportionate to his or her share of the combined incomes. However, the table ends at a combined monthly income of $30,024.99. Illinois law states that the court can use its discretion in determining child support when the combined income exceeds the limits of the table. The only stipulation is that the child support obligation shall not be less than what is listed for the highest income in the table.

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