Can my husband take our joint tax refund?

my husband is living with another woman and wants a divorce. When he filed for our taxes, both federal and state, he did so on-line and had our refunds automatically deposited into his and his new girlfriend’s account is this legal?

Asked on March 15, 2011 under Family Law, Indiana


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

No, it's not legal. A refund from joint filing of a tax return belongs to the two spouses; one spouse cannot take it purely for himself or give it to another. At this point, a divorce is probaby the best response--your husband wants one, he's living with someone else, and he's just proven that he will take advantage of you. In the divorce, when property and assets generally are being distributed, the fact that your husband took the entire tax refund should be considered and should therefore factor into how much you get. (e.g say he took all of a $5,000 refund, when half of it should be yours; in the divorce, you might then get an extra $2,500 too compensate). You should speak with a matrimonial or divorce attorney, and be sure to bring documentation relating to the tax returns and refund with you.

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