Can my Ex make me amend my return & does he have a case?

Not yet divorced ; I paid for more than half of my child daycare expenses in 2012 and my ex is in arrears on child support so after figuring out which was best for me i filed my taxes Head of Household and claimed both kids , yes without his knowledge ; There was and still is no legal document that addresses filing status or claiming either child . He's threatening to make me amend my return if i don't sign the marriage settlement agreement that he came up with . If he takes me to court will he have a strong case for the amendment ?

Algonquin, IL -

Attorney Answers (5)

Gary L. Schlesinger

Gary L. Schlesinger

Divorce / Separation Lawyer - Libertyville, IL
Answered

if you are not yet divorced, you do not have an ex. he is your husband.

in lake county, if your filing as you did and his having to file married filing separately means together you two pay more tax than if you filed jointly, then the judge can, and often does, consider that dissipation. a waste of marital asset. if the judge finds your doing this is dissipation, then your husband gets reimbursed some of the dissipation. assume half.

i doubt the court can force you to file an amended return. but if you do not, the court could consider it dissipation.

based on your limited facts, yes, i think your husband, there is no ex, has a strong case for dissipation.

there is no legal document addressing filing status or claiming children as exemptions as the case is not done yet. you are not yet divorced.

this was probably not a very good move on your part.

you really need to see lawyer.

Peggy Margaret Raddatz

Peggy Margaret Raddatz

Divorce / Separation Lawyer - La Grange, IL
Answered

Yes. Possibly if the court believes there will be a greater refund if filing together. Go see a lawyer ASAP. You are still married and can only file married togeter or married separately. If you filed anything else you violated the law. You should have waited to file until that issue was resoved by agreement of the parties or by the court.

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David Alan Zipp

David Alan Zipp

Criminal Defense Attorney - Fox Lake, IL
Answered

I add only to echo what the incredibly experienced attorney Gary L. Schlesinger just advised you. I would highly recommend you consider his advice and further reach out to him to assist you in this matter.

You really need the assistance of an experienced attorney for what you have described.

Good luck.

This answer is marginal legal advice and does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Every client and... more
Dana Whitney Atchley

Dana Whitney Atchley

Tax Lawyer - New York, NY
Answered

You really should be discussing this matter with your divorce attorney; she or he will be familiar with all of the facts and circumstances and can give you reliable advice, unlike the rest of us here.

That being said, no one can force you to file an amended tax return, not even the IRS. That doesn't mean that there might not be consequences if you don't file an amended return, but you cannot be forced to do so. I would certainly not advise you to file an amended return under duress, which it sounds like what your estranged husband is trying to do.

In terms of the filing status you can claim, unless you have a decree of legal separation from a court (it sounds as if you do not), you cannot file as single, or as head of household, but must instead file as married filing separately. I understand the concern the other attorney voiced about a court treating a filing as married filing separately to be a dissipation of assets if filing jointly would have produced a lower tax bill; however, I am generally very wary of couples in the process of separation or divorce filing joint returns because it essentially means that you will be on the hook for any funny business your estranged husband pulls on that joint return.

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Joseph Henry Sparacino

Joseph Henry Sparacino

Divorce / Separation Lawyer - Chicago, IL
Answered

He is not your ex-husband yet. The Court can make both of you review your returns and direct you both to prepare the return that generates the maximum refund. This is designed to preserve a marital asset and provide the maximum income for support of the children. This is not done for what is best for either of the parties but the children. The Court can also apportion the refund to each party and set over a portion of the child support payor's portion to go for child support as income. You may have acted prematurely here. As I am often in Court call my assistant Dan London at 3102-807-3990 to set up a private telephone consultation. At the consultation we can discuss the confidential details we need to craft a strategic plan. These details should not be broadcast over the Internet.

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