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I want to live separately with our two children and claim "married filing separately" status as "head of household" during what is sure to be a hostile time in our marriage. Can I do this?

This is the only tax question involved in your sorry tale. It sounds like you are currently living together, so for year 2000 your options are married, filing jointly and married, filing separately.

For 2001, you can file as head of household if you don't live with your husband after 6/30/2001 and you maintain a home for a dependent child for more than half of 2001. Details are in the "considered unmarried" discussion in Publication 501.

As for your other questions, you need a credit counselling service if you want to get good information about your options.

Phil Marti
VITA Volunteer
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