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I am divorcing - can my spouse file taxes without me?

Oklahoma City, OK |

I filed for divorce in October of 2010, the divorce is still pending (July 2011). Up until October 2010, my entire paycheck was given to my spouse for living (mortgage, insurance, bills, food, clothing, etc.). I was given $10 a week allowance for any outside expenses. I had the minimal amount of taxes withheld and spouse had the maximum. Spouse has gone and filed married filing separate. Spouse received a huge return. In my filing - I am left owing a massive amount of money. Is this legal?

Attorney Answers 3


  1. Yes, it is legal. When filing your tax return you can legally file joint, provided both agree, or file married filing separate.

    However, the rules regarding how to file under the IRS code is really not the issue. The real question is the equitable division of the assets and debts of the marriage. The divorce court can make adjustment for the marital funds that were deposited under his social security number as opposed to the funds deposited under your social security number. Make certain that your attorney understands that these funds were deposited inequitably and that an adjustment should be made at the final hearing.


  2. I agree with the prior attorney. Since he filed MFS, you had no choice but to do likewise. The disproportionate sharing of taxes due must be equalized via your divorce settlement agreement.
    Hope this helps. If you think this post was helpful, please check the thumbs up (helpful) tab below and/or designate my answer as best answer. Thanks.
    Mr. Fromm is licensed to practice law throughout the state of PA with offices in Philadelphia and Montgomery Counties. He is authorized to handle IRS matters throughout the United States. His phone number is 215-735-2336 or his email address is sjfpc@comcast.net . For further tax advice check out his website at www.sjfpc.com . and his blog at >

    LEGAL DISCLAIMER Mr. Fromm is licensed to practice law throughout the state of PA with offices in Philadelphia and Montgomery Counties. He is authorized to handle IRS matters throughout the United States. His phone number is 215-735-2336 or his email address is sjfpc@comcast.net , his website is www.sjfpc.com. and his blog is <http://frommtaxes.wordpress.com/> Mr. Fromm is ethically required to state that the response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/ client relationship. Also, there are no recognized legal specialties under Pennsylvania law. Any references to a trust, estate or tax lawyer refer only to the fact that Mr. Fromm limits his practice to these areas of the law. These responses are only in the form of legal education and are intended to only provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that if known could significantly change the reply or make such reply unsuitable. Mr. Fromm strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in their state in order to ensure proper advice is received. By using this site you understand and agree that there is no attorney client relationship or confidentiality between you and the attorney responding. This site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney that practices in the subject area in your jurisdiction, who is familiar with your specific facts and all of the circumstances and with whom you have an attorney client relationship. The law changes frequently and varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. The information and materials provided are general in nature, and may not apply to a specific factual or legal circumstance described in the question or omitted from the question. Circular 230 Disclaimer - Any information in this comment may not be used to eliminate or reduce penalties by the IRS or any other governmental agency.


  3. You are entitled to file your return as married filing separate. Hoqwever, your focus should be on the split up of the marital property. It appears that the husband may have taken a greater share and your attorney can pursue this issue. Hope this is helpful.

    This answer is not legal advice.and does not constitute tax advice. This answer does not provide advice related to tax shelters. Consult an attorney for legal or tax advice.

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