Taking Action

Get Answers Start Your Divorce Stop Your Divorce Divorce Forms Online Support DivorceDesk

Divorce Tools

Online Divorce Online Negotiation Custody Tracker QDRO Preparation SEE ALL

Info Categories

Contemplating Divorce Children & Divorce Divorce, Dollars & Debt Divorce Laws Divorce Process Divorce Negotiation SEE ALL

State Resources

California Florida Illinois New York Texas SEE ALL

More Information

Articles Checklists Research Center Cases of Interest Dictionary Encyclopedia Encyclopedia (pop-up) Blogs

For Professionals

Generate Clients Free Network Page Submit Articles Case Management Sign In

The Divorce Encyclopedia
Married Filing Separately

Term Definition Married Filing Separately - a tax filing status for married people that does not create joint and several liability but creates special rules for married filers in community property states.
Application in Divorce Married couples who file separately do not have joint and several liability, but they pay higher rates than married couples filing jointly.

Legally separated people file separately.

People who are permanently separated and in the process of divorcing may file separately depending upon individual circumstances.

Married filers in community property states are governed by special rules, but filing separately does not protect them from the underreporting of income of community property. Married filers in community property states are required to report one-half of the community property income on a separate return.

Measures can be taken to what is called "sever the community," which affords protection from future but not past tax liabilities.

Although married filing separately carries much higher tax rates for couples than married filing jointly, a spouse who believes his (or her) partner is filing fraudulent or inaccurate returns may wish to do so because a separate return protects the innocent spouse.

See also Joint and Several Liability; Innocent Spouse Rule.

Add the Divorce Encyclopedia
to Your Website

The Research Center

Give Our Research Center a Try. Gain access to the same research material that lawyers often use to establish and win divorce cases. This material consists of legal journal articles and case explanation/analysis documents on a wide range of topics. If you think your situation is unique, your answers will most likely be here. In order to gain access to this area, you must establish an account, but you can search the documents before deciding.

The Divorce Source Difference

Since February 1st, 1997 (when we initially launched Divorcesource.com) we have helped millions of people contemplating or experiencing divorce. The reason we have been able to reach so many people is because we have made it a priority to listen to our customers. We have built a trust by listening and delivering what the customer needs, rather than what we think they want. This is the Divorce Source difference.

Easily Connect With a Lawyer or Mediator
Have Divorce Professionals from Your Area Contact You!
Enter Your Zip Code:

Custody Scheduling and Tracking

Easily Connect With a Lawyer or Mediator
Have Divorce Professionals from Your Area Contact You!
Enter Your Zip Code:


Start Your Divorce File for Divorce


Settle Your Divorce Negotiate Your Divorce


Track Child Custody Track Custody & Visitation

Guarantee Official PayPal Seal Facebook Twitter Versign Secure Site