Can You File a Joint Tax Return the Year You Get Divorced in Massachusetts?
Tax returns can be filed as married filing jointly if the parties were married on December 31st of the tax year, even if the divorce hearing has occurred. If the divorce was final on or before December 31st, they could not file jointly. If they are still in the waiting period after the divorce hearing on December 31st, they can file jointly. In a joint petition for divorce, the divorce is final 120 days from the date that the divorce hearing is held, and in a case where there’s been a complaint for divorce, the divorce is final 90 days from the date of the divorce hearing. We are always very cautious to make sure that if the parties do want to file jointly, that their divorce hearing occurs before (for example) October 1st for that particular party. Typically, filing married or filing jointly is a tax savings over married filing separately, so we always try to make sure our clients receive that option.
This informational blog post was brought to you by Cynthia L. Hanley, an experienced Mansfield, Massachusetts Divorce Lawyer.