Skip to main content

Does prior tax filing status matter in divorce settlements?

Stamford, CT |

My wife and I are leading separate lives financially. Though we live together, she contributes her share of the expenses monthly and is financially independent. She makes a lot less than me, but we filed a joint tax return last year. We are having differences now and may well end up in divorce soon. So for this years taxes, I am considering whether to file my taxes as "married filing separate". Would this filing status make a difference in splitting assets in divorce court? I am trying to show that since we're financially independent of each other, there's no reason she should be given any of my assets or income(alimony). There are no children involved.

Attorney Answers 2


  1. Generally, I don't think that the tax filing would have any effect on a property / alimony order. When looking at those issues, the court is guided by two state statutes: §46b-81 and §46b-82.

    In §46b-81 the court is supposed to look at certain factors in determining property distribution, these being: "the length of the marriage, the causes for the annulment, dissolution of the marriage or legal separation, the age, health, station, occupation, amount and sources of income, vocational skills, employability, estate, liabilities and needs of each of the parties and the opportunity of each for future acquisition of capital assets and income." Additionally, "the court shall also consider the contribution of each of the parties in the acquisition, preservation or appreciation in value of their respective estates."

    And, with regards to §46b-82 the court is supposed to look at certain factors in determining alimony, these being: "the length of the marriage, the causes for the annulment, dissolution of the marriage or legal separation, the age, health, station, occupation, amount and sources of income, vocational skills, employability, estate and needs of each of the parties and the award, if any, which the court may make pursuant to section 46b-81..."

    As you can see there are alot of things that a court is supposed to consider. As previously stated, I don't think that your new tax filing would have any impact on that determination.


  2. You should consult with a local divorce attorney to discuss your situation in detail. Ordinarily whether you file jointly or separately won't matter as long as everyone properly reports income.