If you are divorced by the last day of the year, then you are divorced for the entire tax year. You should speak to your accountant or tax attorney about this.
This answer is for general informational purposes only and should not be relied upon for your particular case nor is it intended as legal advice. I have not reviewed your case nor have I met with you and the answer to this question does not in any manner whatsoever establish an attorney/client relationship.
If you are divorced by 12/31, you will file separate tax returns.
HOWEVER, while it is possible that you could be divorced by the end of the year, it is very doubtful that this will happen.
Even if you filed today, the other party accepted service of the documents today and the two of you filed a Consent Decree 61 days from today, it would still likely be early next year before the judge signs your Decree.
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You should file for divorce when you know that there is no reason for continuing with the marriage. If both parties agree to the division of property and any issues relating to children of the parties if there are any, the divorce can happen smoothly and both parties can go on their way. If you have not filed yet, you will be married by the end of 2013. If taxes is your issue, talk with your tax preparer to see what is the best financial situation for you. You can work that issue into a divorce settlement as well.
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