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Divorce and dividing assets

Couples in Alaska who are getting a divorce should understand how dividing certain types of assets will affect them tax-wise. For example, many spouses do not pursue their share of other assets in order to retain ownership of the family home. However, because of changes in the tax law, it could more expensive than they thought to own the home.

According to the tax law, individuals can only deduct $10,000 a year in local and state taxes. This means that homeowners will have increased taxes if they reside in states that have high property taxes. People getting a divorce should also be aware that the interest in home equity loans and home equity lines of credit can no longer be deducted if they do not use the funds in order to purchase, construct or substantially enhance the home. If the home equity line is used for some other reason, such as paying off credit card bills, the interest cannot be deducted.

For divorcing couples who want to downsize and whose home is worth significantly more than what it was when it was purchased or built, they may want to consider selling the home before finalizing their divorce. Single homeowners who have resided in their home for at least two of the last five years can exclude up to $250,000 in capital gains they earn when the primary residence is sold while the exclusion for married couples can be as much as $500,000.

Family law attorneys for husbands may consider the factors of a client's divorce and explain their legal options regarding divorce legal issues, such as the division of assets. Negotiation and litigation tactics might be used to obtain favorable settlement terms regarding the division of real estate and of retirement assets, such as pensions, IRAs and 401(k)s.

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Wyatt & Butterfield, LLC
310 K Street Suite 200
Anchorage, AK 99501

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