February 23, 2023

Are Divorce Attorney Fees Tax Deductible?

It’s no secret that a divorce can quickly become a costly affair. Factoring in filing fees, court fees, and attorney fees, the average cost of a divorce in Colorado ranges between $9,000 to $11,000. With this price tag, it’s no wonder that anyone going through a divorce will look for ways to cut down on costs and save money, such as wondering whether or not divorce attorney fees are tax deductible. 

Divorce attorney fees, however, are not tax deductible because these fees are considered personal expenses. But there are methods for making your divorce more affordable that should be explored. 

In this blog, we’re revealing why divorce attorney fees are not tax deductible and taking a closer look at general costs related to a divorce. While each divorce is unique, a common rule of thumb is that the shorter a divorce case lasts, the less it will cost. 

That’s why we here at Peek Vasquez Family Law do everything we can to make divorce proceedings for our clients quick and efficient. As one of Colorado’s most trusted family law firms, our team of Denver divorce attorneys has the compassion and experience to help you attain your family goals. 

Are Divorce Attorney Fees Tax Deductible?

In short—no—divorce attorney fees are not tax deductible. Technically, legal fees you’d pay to your divorce lawyer are considered personal expenses, and thus, will not be considered tax deductible. The only legal fees you can deduct from your annual taxes would be for items related to your profession.

According to the IRS, some legal fees that may be tax deductible include:

  • Fees that are ordinary and necessary expenses for operating your business.
  • Fees for resolving tax issues or any advice or preparation needed for tax forms for your business.
  • Fees for rentals or royalties on properties.
  • Fees related to farm income and expenses.
  • Fees related to whistleblower claims.
  • Fees related to unlawful discrimination claims.
  • Fees related to adopting a child (if you qualify for the federal adoption tax credit).

If you’re not sure whether or not certain fees are tax deductible, speak with a tax expert in your area for more information. 

Who Pays the Attorney Fees in a Divorce?

According to Colorado state law, each individual spouse is responsible for paying for their own divorce attorney fees. This law works in an attempt to make the divorce process more even and to equitably split up the financial burden of the divorce. However, there are some cases where one spouse will be required to cover more of the cost of a divorce.

This scenario occurs when one spouse may not have the financial resources to pursue a divorce because they were not the primary “breadwinner” during the relationship. This is common when one spouse, for instance, focuses on raising children and caring for the family instead of a career. In these cases, a divorce attorney may file a Rose motion, which requires one spouse with more financial means to pay partial or the entirety of the divorce costs for the other spouse. 

Thus, if you’re considering a divorce and may hesitate because you don’t think you can afford it, there is legal assistance available. If you’re concerned about being able to afford the costs of a divorce, speak with your Denver divorce attorney to learn more about your options. 

How Can I Make My Divorce More Affordable?

While you may not be able to deduct attorney fees from your taxes, there are ways that you can work to reduce the costs of your divorce. In many ways, the old adage that “time is money” holds very true for divorce cases. Essentially, the longer a divorce drags out, the more expensive the case will be for everyone involved.

If you’re looking to reduce the costs of a divorce, consider the following strategies:

1. Communicate with your former spouse: communication is key throughout each step of a divorce. But if you can communicate effectively with your former spouse even before the divorce process begins, it can be much simpler (and cheaper) for everyone. 

For example, in an uncontested divorce, the spouses have mostly come to an agreement over important concerns before the divorce even begins. This may include agreeing on division of property, assets, debts, and even child custody issues. If you can settle these issues before bringing in divorce attorneys, you’ll save on time and costs. 

2. Do your homework: before beginning a divorce proceeding, educate yourself on what to expect from a divorce. Find out what type of paperwork and documents will need to be filed so that you can be prepared well before your first consultation with a divorce lawyer. Again, this method works to save time so that your divorce will be more efficient and more cost-effective.  

3. Be realistic about your goals: entering into a divorce, each spouse will have their own priorities and goals. And while it may be natural to “want it all,” this is rarely the reality for divorce cases. Pursuing unrealistic goals can cause your divorce to drag out, and as a result, become much more expensive. An experienced divorce attorney can help you set realistic goals so you’ll have a better idea of what to expect. 

Conclusion – Are Divorce Attorney Fees Tax Deductible?

When tax season comes around, we’re all looking for things to deduct to improve our annual tax return. While there are many commonly overlooked deductions, attorney fees for a divorce are not one of them. Since divorce attorney fees are considered personal expenses, they are not eligible to be deducted from your taxes.

Although costs and fees are important to keep in mind when pursuing a divorce, you should never let these factors get in the way of doing what’s best for you and your family. Additionally, don’t feel like you need to take on this burden alone. Call on Denver’s trusted divorce attorneys to support each step of the way during your Colorado divorce. Our team will help you assess your options, determine the best course of action, and negotiate on your behalf. If necessary, we’ll defend you in court to ensure your rights are protected.

Contact us today at Peek Vasquez Family Law to learn more about how we can help you and your family. With an initial consultation, we can quickly assess your options and set you on the path toward achieving your family goals.