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Taxes: Claiming Exemptions and Taking Deductions

Can I be required by the court to file a joint tax return with my spouse?

Authorities are split on this question. Depending on the state or jurisdiction in which you are getting divorced, the court may or may not have the discretion to order you to file a joint tax return with your spouse. Indeed, while some state courts have determined that the court has the discretion to order spouses to file joint tax returns (e.g. New Jersey, Ohio, Colorado, Arkansas, New Hampshire, Kentucky, Minnesota, and Michigan), others have determined that the court does not have such discretion (e.g. Nebraska, New York, Connecticut, Oregon, and the District of Columbia). Should this issue arise in your divorce, you should consult with your attorney for a determination as to whether your state has conferred such discretion on the court.

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