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.

Posts: 1
Registered: ‎01-08-2018

i am separated but NOT divorced

[ Edited ]

I am not divorced yet. But I  have leaving in my own home since 2016, He lives in his  own home as well. Last year I claim head house. I have 2 kids, one is ours and other one is just mine, not  his. He claiming  my son this year. Can we both claim  head of house hold since we have been separated since 01/16 and Have our own  house that  we live in and pay separated. ty

Trusted Council Member
Posts: 6,191
Registered: ‎02-23-2016

Re: i am separated but NOT divorced

Hi ts6495,




Welcome to the H&R Block community.


Only the custodial parent can file as a head of household.


If your ex-spouse is claiming your son only because you are allowing him to do so then your ex-spouse can claim an exemption for your son as well as the child tax credit but nothing else.


If however your son actually lives with your ex-spouse for more nights out of the year than he lives with anyone else, if he lives with your ex-spouse for at least half of the year, and if your son qualifies as his qualifying child, then your ex-spouse is the custodial parent and he can file as a head of household, claim the earned income credit, claim the child tax credit, and more.


If you can answer a few questions I'll be able to help you sort this out.


Who do your kids actually live with for the majority of the year?


Who provides more than 50% of your kids support?


How old are the kids?


Do the kids have any income of their own?


All of the above questions play into claiming dependents and head of household filing status.



Note that if your ex-spouse is not the custodial parent of a child then he must use the "married & filing separately" status since you are still legally married.





Senior Tax Advisor (Tampa, FL)