Search Site

Choose the Right Tax Filing Status When Going Through Divorce

As you work through your divorce, don’t forget the potential impact your divorce will have on your taxes. At the very least, you’ll need to consider the tax filing status you will use while the divorce is still pending.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will continue to treat you and your spouse as married as long as you are legally married on the last day of the tax year for which the tax return is due. Unless you have a final divorce decree, you’re not going to be able to file as a head of household or as unmarried, even if you and your spouse have lived separately for some time and the marriage is otherwise over except for the divorce finalization.

This means you’re going to have two filing options while you’re still going through the divorce:

  • Married filing jointly
  • Married filing separately

Your communication with your spouse might have degraded to the point where filing separately is your only feasible option. However, it is in both of your best interest to choose married filing jointly if possible, as this will give you access to additional savings in the form of:

  • Child and dependent care credits
  • Educational deductions and credits
  • Student loan interest deductions
  • Earned income credits

Consider also, though, that signing a joint return will also make you jointly liable for underreporting of taxes and penalties. This means if you do not trust your spouse to be truthful with reporting, it might instead be a good idea to file separately.

For more tips about choosing your filing status when going through a divorce, contact an experienced Minneapolis divorce lawyer at Appelhof, Pfeifer & Hart, P.A.

Our Attorneys
Client testimonials
  • "Tori had a thorough understanding of my situation and made excellent recommendations to resolve my concerns. She was persistent on communication and handled everything in a very timely manner. I would definitely hire her again in the future if needed." - M.K.

  • "With Appelhof, Pfeifer & Hart, P.A., it is like having a family physician. They are all knowledgeable, thorough, comforting, and the only call I need to make for all my legal needs for many years to come. No matter what the matter, I totally trust their advice and commitment to me and my family." - J.N.

  • "Mary from APH Law helped me thru a difficult divorce. She and the entire staff was there for me every step of the way helping me on what to do next. They listened to what I wanted and helped me achieve what matter the most to me in the divorce settlement." - Dana C.

  • "I chose APH after my initial consultation with Mary. I felt my best interest would be represented. The entire process went excellent, the attorneys and staff communicated effectively and efficiently with me throughout the process as they needed to. Being new to the legal process and verbiage, they walked me and talked me through the next steps and the jargon, I felt completely comfortable and represented. I hope I never have to use legal services again but if I do I will call Mary at APH Law and know that I will be taken care of." - Jeff M.

  • "Divorce is a time of emotion and stress. Mary Pfeifer , My lawyer was professional and compassionate. She was very informative through the process. Her insight helped me in my decisions. She worked hard to obtain a settlement which was fair to both parties.Though, I hope I won't need her help again. It is reassuring to know a good person that is willing to help." - Rod S.

  • "I first came to Ms. Jacquelyn Lutz of Appelhof, Pfeifer and Hart in October of 2016. It was definitely the worst time in my life and she compassionately spoke with me about my options. Ms. Lutz thoroughly explained the laws, statutes, process and what to expect going forward. What was supposed to be one case, turned into three intricate cases that took a huge toll on me and my family. Ms. Lutz represented me in court on all three cases with a vast knowledge of the laws and how to proceed accordingly. During all three cases she kept me informed, calm, gave me resources to utilize, and (most important) gave me a realistic view of what may come next. Ms. Lutz knew each case required a great deal of knowledge and creative thinking on how to legally proceed forward with each case. My family and friends are forever grateful for the amazing representation by Ms. Lutz. I highly recommend Ms. Lutz for anyone needing or considering superb representation for any kind of family law. " - M.H.


Contact us

Quick Contact Form