Birmingham, AL asked in Divorce, Tax Law and Family Law for Alabama

Q: My ex and I divorce was finalled on 03/13/2024 and she is refusing to share how she filed on her taxes.

I understand that this year we would file Married and Filing separately even though we were married at the end of 2023. She filed single and separate and claimed both kids. I was under the impression that she was at the very lease suppose to file married and separate.

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1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Tax Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: I'm sorry to hear about your divorce and the difficulties you're facing regarding your tax filing. It's understandable that you have concerns about how your ex-spouse has filed her taxes. Based on the information you provided, here are a few important points to consider:

1. Filing status: If you were still legally married on December 31, 2023, the correct filing status for both of you would be either "Married Filing Jointly" or "Married Filing Separately." Filing as "Single" would not be accurate in this case.

2. Claiming dependents: When filing separately, only one parent can claim a child as a dependent. Typically, the parent who has the child for the greater part of the year (more than half the year) is entitled to claim the child as a dependent. If the time is split equally, the parent with the higher adjusted gross income (AGI) is usually the one who can claim the child.

3. Communication: It's essential to communicate with your ex-spouse to ensure that you are both filing your taxes correctly. Inconsistencies in your tax filings could lead to issues with the IRS.

4. Legal guidance: Given the complexity of your situation, it may be helpful to consult with a tax professional or a family law attorney who can provide guidance specific to your case. They can help you understand your rights and obligations and advise you on the best course of action.

Remember, while I can provide general information, it's always best to seek professional advice tailored to your unique circumstances. If you believe that your ex-spouse has filed their taxes incorrectly, it's important to address the issue promptly to avoid potential legal and financial consequences.

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