Legal Question in Family Law in Arizona

filing for taxes after divorce

I am a realtor, my husband work for goverment. We decided to get a divorce in july/2003. My husband insists to file on the 1st of November, but didn't explain the reason. I think it is because of tax return for the next year. We bought a $28000 car in June as my bussiness expense, and it can be deducted completly from income.

If we will file for divorce on the 1 of November, can I file for taxes separatly, and how the tax return will be distributed?

Asked on 8/28/03, 9:48 am

2 Answers from Attorneys

Kathy M O'Quinn O'QUINN LAW, P.C.

Re: filing for taxes after divorce

There is no automatic rule for filing of income tax returns, nor is there a specific date for divorce purposes, by which you must file. You should decide with your accountant which is the best way to file your taxes and when. You should ask your accountant to calculate you taxes in a variety of scenarios: ie. if you were married or single. Then you can make the best decisio for your self and your situation. If you should use any rule of thumb in divorce, you should try to strive for independence and knowlegeable decisions, as you go through the divorce process.

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Answered on 8/28/03, 10:09 am
Monica Donaldson Stewart Donaldson Stewart, P.C.

Re: filing for taxes after divorce

Thank you for your inquiry.

Generally speaking, if your divorce is final prior to December 31, 2003, you must file single for that entire tax year. If your divorce is final after January 1, 2004, you have the option of whether to file jointly or "married separate" for tax year 2003. When faced with the issue of divorce after January 1, the courts will generally order the filing which produces the greatest overall result. It would be a good idea to consult with a CPA to figure out the result of joint filing vs. the result of two "married separate" filings.

An "uncontested" divorce takes about 90 days to complete. By waiting to file until November 1, it is guaranteed that your divorce will not be final until after January 1, and therefore, the option of filing jointly still exists. However, even if the divorce is filed September 1, the paperwork can be suspended for filing after January 1.

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Answered on 8/28/03, 10:29 am

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