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If my wife and I divorced in Sept of 2012, can we still file jointly?

Syracuse, NY |
Filed under: Divorce

She wants to because I make about 3 times what she makes. Plus, I still had 1 child living at home with me.

Attorney Answers 4


  1. The certain answer to your question can easily be found at www.irs.gov. Within less than a minute I found in Pub. 17 this rule: "Divorced persons. If you are divorced under a final decree by the last day of the year, you are considered unmarried for the whole year." Filing status is determined as of the last day of the year so, no, you can't file your 2012 tax return jointly.

    For the tax year in which the divorce became final, it is wise to use a tax professional even if you haven't needed that help in the past.

    Best wishes for an outcome you can accept, and please remember to designate a best answer.

    This answer is offered as a public service for general information only and may not be relied upon as legal advice.


  2. No. Your marital status on December 31st dictates how you file. Since you were divorced on that date, you cannot file married jointly.

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  3. No. Parties can only file jointly if they were married on December 31 of the tax year.


  4. No, your status filing status is determined based on what your status is on December 31, 2012. If you were divorced in September 2012, then you cannot filed jointly. You can either file head of household (depending on who resides with you) or single.

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