Financial Considerations with Divorce

Archived Q&A and Reviews


Considering divorce but worried about finances

Nov 2008

I am considering getting a divorce after only 2 years. My issue is that I haven't worked for 3 years because I have been in grad school full time and have 1 more year to go. Basically, if I went through with the divorce, I'd have the kid (who's mine from a previous relationship), no job, no car, and no housing. Is it okay to ask for some sort of alimony since I haven't got any real financial income other than financial aid? What's an appropriate amount? If I were to try and rent a place, do landlords deem income such as fin. aid as acceptable income? I am in the process of looking for a job, but I just changed careers so I haven't got much background. Anyone know of lawyers who offer free divorce advice? anon

You should consult with a lawyer, but I imagine that it is not unlikely that you could receive some alimony. You have only been married a very short time, so even if you were to receive alimony you would likely only get it for a short time, but you may need some help to get on your feet. Your ex will not be paying child support unless he adopted your child, I believe. But definitely -- a lawyer. divorced mom

Divorce: timing & taxes

October 2006

My husband and I are divorcing, but waiting several months because we don't have the money to live separately quite yet. We are wondering, however, what kind of difference (if any) marital status will make in our income taxes--should be trying to file before the end of the year for tax purposes or should we wait until 2007? Does it make any real difference? (We are already short on money, and don't want to put ourselves at even more of a disadvantage by planning this wrong.) Anonymous

The date you file your Petition for Dissolution is irrelevant for tax purposes. Beginning in the tax year in which you get a Final Judgment of Dissolution you can no longer file joint returns. It takes a minimum of 6 months to get a Final Judgment. So even if you file now, you can still file jointly for 2006. If you get the Final J in 2007, you must file single for 2007 Hope this helps

If your incomes are about the same, you will pay less tax filing as single. In order to be able to file as single, the divorce must be final as of 12/31 of the year.

If you are not divorced as of 12/31 of the year, your only choices are to file ''married filing jointly'' or ''married filing separately''. Filing separately usually results in higher tax liability.

If you have dependent children, it is possible for one of you to be a ''head of household'' (saving you some tax), and the other one ''married filing separately'', but only if you did not live together at any time during the last 6 months of the year, which is not your case.

Given that you still live together up through October, I don't think it is likely that your divorce will get finalized by 12/31 (check me on this one). If you can't get divorced by 12/31 and trust each other financially, then filing a joint return will generally result in a lowest tax liability (assuming about the same income level for both of you) Maria