When divorcing, consider divorcing tax filings as well

When a Houston husband and wife make the difficult decision to end their marriage, there are many changes that need to be instigated. These can include changes in who lives where, splitting time with any minor children, property division, arrangements concerning alimony or child support and more. With a divorce signaling the end of most shared experiences and belongings, there can still be a time during which some things happen jointly.

When to file the last joint tax return can be one such situation. However, a recent article in the news suggests that it may be better to file separate tax returns as soon as possible, in an effort to avoid fraud or unfair treatment of one party. The article details the story of one couple and the unfortunate series of events that took place. The husband provided tax information to the wife, assuming she would file a joint return as had always been done. What actually happened was quite different.

The wife filed a return on behalf of the husband as single and stating his income lower than was true. She then filed a return on her behalf as married filing single. When the refund from the husband’s return came in, she took the money into an account that was in both spouse’s names but used only by her. In addition, the wife took money from a retirement account during the couple’s separation period which was only discovered during the tax process.

Keeping a close watch on financial transactions, including tax filings and associated processes, is important for people during and after a separation or divorce. If you are concerned about such issues, you may wish to talk to a family law attorney to learn more about keeping yourself safe from such problems.

Source: Forbes, “Post Divorce Tax Intimacy Can Be Riskier Than Post Divorce Sex,” Peter J. Reilly, January 7, 2014

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