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smsbethsmith
New Member

My husband left us over 6 months ago -- I have very low income, and he's been giving us money but not legally child support. should i file jointly?

 
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GiseleD
Expert Alumni

My husband left us over 6 months ago -- I have very low income, and he's been giving us money but not legally child support. should i file jointly?

If you are not yet divorced, here are your filing options:

 

Your primary options are Married Filing Jointly (MFJ) and Married Filing Separately (MFS). Your husband will need to agree to MFJ, though. 

 

A possible option is Head of Household (HOH). Married individuals can be considered unmarried for HOH if all of the following apply:

  • The taxpayer lived separate from his/her spouse for the last six months of the year (If you just got married in July, it's unlikely this is the case).Temporary absences are considered as time lived in the home.
  • The taxpayer does not file MFJ
  • The taxpayer paid over 1/2 of the cost of keeping up a home
  • The taxpayer's home was the main home of the taxpayer's child, stepchild, or foster child for over 1/2 the tax year
    • The taxpayer claims this child as a dependent, or the child's other parent claims the child as a dependent under the rules for children of divorced or separated parents.
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2 Replies
GiseleD
Expert Alumni

My husband left us over 6 months ago -- I have very low income, and he's been giving us money but not legally child support. should i file jointly?

If you are not yet divorced, here are your filing options:

 

Your primary options are Married Filing Jointly (MFJ) and Married Filing Separately (MFS). Your husband will need to agree to MFJ, though. 

 

A possible option is Head of Household (HOH). Married individuals can be considered unmarried for HOH if all of the following apply:

  • The taxpayer lived separate from his/her spouse for the last six months of the year (If you just got married in July, it's unlikely this is the case).Temporary absences are considered as time lived in the home.
  • The taxpayer does not file MFJ
  • The taxpayer paid over 1/2 of the cost of keeping up a home
  • The taxpayer's home was the main home of the taxpayer's child, stepchild, or foster child for over 1/2 the tax year
    • The taxpayer claims this child as a dependent, or the child's other parent claims the child as a dependent under the rules for children of divorced or separated parents.
**Say "Thanks" by clicking the thumb icon in a post
**Mark the post that answers your question by clicking on "Mark as Best Answer"

View solution in original post

Bsch4477
Level 15

My husband left us over 6 months ago -- I have very low income, and he's been giving us money but not legally child support. should i file jointly?

If you have a child living with you answer the questions in the personal information section to see if you can file as head of household which is likely if your spouse did not live with you any of the last 6 months of 2019.  That might be a good choice.  If he is giving you money then that is a gift so you don’t have to report it as income. 

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