It should be noted that the following information is being made solely for the purpose of general information and you should always seek out the advice of a competent tax professional before determining your course of action.
When one begins a divorce process, there are many tax implications. One of the first questions is whether to file a joint or separate return. Typically married filing jointly will produce a lower tax for husband and wife then filing married separately. However, there are instances where filing separate returns may produce a lower combined federal and state tax. The bottom line is you will have to determine which is going to produce the lower tax or maximize the greatest return. Sometimes due to vindictiveness or hostility, one party may insist often at the advice of his or her attorney in filing a separate return despite a higher cost to the community. The other spouse may seek compensation for the additional tax liability due to the filing party’s vindictiveness.
There are special requirements for filing head of household status. The IRS has specific requirements for household maintenance test specifically the person must maintain as his or her home a household which constitutes for more than one-half of the taxable year, the principal place of abode as a member of such household, of a son, step-son, daughter, or step-daughter of the tax payer or descendant of a son or daughter of the tax payer (section 2b(1)(A)(i) under section 152 of the tax code).
SUPPORT REQUIREMENTS FOR DEPENDENTS
Under the Internal Revenue Code there is a dependency exemption which provides an exemption based upon the residential parent status of a spouse. IRC sections 151 and 152 set forth the dependency exemption. The Code also provides for a child and dependent care credit under section 21 and child tax credit under section 24.