Divorcing couples may want separate tax filings

Couples in Pennsylvania who are about to finalize their divorces may agree to file a joint tax return for the previous year in order to take advantage of lower overall tax rates and a higher return for the benefit of the family. However, even when the couple agrees to an equitable division of the tax return and benefits in writing, problems can still crop up that may make it wiser to forego the attempt at filing a joint return.

Filing a joint tax return may seem like a good idea. In many cases it makes financial sense to take advantage of the opportunity to file a joint return. However, filing a tax return together after the divorce is final may lead to a difficult situation in which the partners are pitted against each other long after all of the marital strife should have been resolved.

For example, there have been cases in which a person filing a joint return with a former spouse found out too late that the ex-partner did not declare all income. This could lead to an audit several years down the road, long after the two parties should have resolved their differences. Further, one partner may suffer financial exposure if the other partner is not honest about income or misuses funds such as those in a retirement account.

A Pennsylvania family law attorney may represent a partner in a divorce action, a custody battle or a legal issue involving payment of spousal or child support. When a couple decides to divorce, a family law attorney may be able to assist one of the partners in understanding the implications of the divorce action on the individual’s finances as well as rights regarding children and other marital issues.

Source: Forbes, “Post Divorce Tax Intimacy Can Be Riskier Than Post Divorce Sex“, Peter Reilly , January 07, 2014