Your Life

Your Life

Major life milestones often have a major tax impact. Changes in your marital status, having a baby or adopting a child can have significant impact on your taxes. This is the place to ask questions about dependents, real estate, and other various scenarios that play a significant role in what taxes you pay.

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Pioneer
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎12-06-2017
Accepted Solution

Separated and Filing Head of Household

I am currently separated and won't finalize my divorce until 2018. I plan on filing as head of household given that I am the custodial parent of our daughter and have paid for the majority of the household. What status should my husband use given that we are still married in 2017? Married filing separately? He lived with family so didn't really pay for his own household. Should he also use head of household?

Thank you.

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Tax Pro
Posts: 5,795
Registered: ‎02-23-2016

Re: Separated and Filing Head of Household

Hi LHuff,

 

 

Welcome to the H&R Block community.

 

Let's take a closer look at your situation because there's a little bit more to it.

 

First, has you been living separately from your husband for at least the last six months of 2017?  The reason I ask is because if you have lived together at any point during the last six months of the year then NOBODY can file as a head of household.

 

If you have lived apart for the last six months or more of the year then you might be able to file as a head of household instead of using the "married & filing separately" status.  You must meet 2 additional requirements including that:

  • (1) you are the custodial parent, the parent with whom your daughter has lived for the most nights during the year
  • (2) you more than 50% of the upkeep costs of your home (rent or mortgage, repairs, insurance, food, and utilities)

If all of the above requirements are met then you may file as a head of household.  Based on the information provided it appears that you qualify.

 

Your husband must file using the "married & filing separately" filing status if you file separately from each other because based on the information provided he is living with family and therefore likely cannot claim a dependent.

 

 

If you have any other questions I'll be glad to help.

 

Louis,

Senior Tax Advisor (Tampa, FL)

Pioneer
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎12-06-2017

Re: Separated and Filing Head of Household

Thank you. This is very helpful.

 

Tax Pro
Posts: 5,795
Registered: ‎02-23-2016

Re: Separated and Filing Head of Household

You're quite welcome.