If a couple separates, do they have to file their taxes separately?

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If a couple separates, do they have to file their taxes separately?

Also, what is the cost of a legal separation?

Asked on March 8, 2011 under Family Law, New York

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

In New York, you obtain a legal separation by entering in to an agreement with your spouse that determines the rights and obligations of the parties, distributes assets, determines support obligations (Note: child support obligations are determined by statute and an income model and leave very little to agree to), etc.  The cost for same varies from state to state and attorney to attorney and depends on the nature of the parties and their separation.  You can agree to file taxes separately (married but filing separately) even informally, but you will be denying yourselves many deductions that filing that way does not permit.  So I would speak with an accountant as well as an attorney on the matter.  Good luck.


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