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Author: lisaschatz Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 121095  
Subject: married filing separately as head of household Date: 3/24/2001 11:16 AM
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I am currently married filing jointly. My husband has accumulated $40k debt on a $50k income and refuses to discuss bankruptcy. He would rather see our house and vehicles taken from us than surrender his pride and file bankruptcy. We are currently paying between $500-$700 dollars a month on interest, money urgently needed to maintain the household. My husband makes minimum payments on all cards and sometimes uses credit cards to pay off other credit card minimums. I do not want to lose my excellent credit rating by filing Chapter 7, but I do not see any other way to eliminate the debt. The only reason I don't want to reorganize my debt under Chapter 13 is because my credit rating will be ruined just as if I filed Chapter 7 and got all the debt discharged. I am the principal card holder on several of the credit cards with my husband as authorized user; on others we are joint owners. My husband refuses to allow the joint accounts to be closed and will not sign the necessary paperwork, but does he have any control over me closing out accounts in my name on which he is an authorized user? This is not an issue I want to destroy my marriage over. Can I file for bankruptcy individually and pay off my half, thus forcing my husband to pay off his half. Additionally, 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? Thank you.
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Author: pmarti Big funky green star, 20000 posts Home Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 48922 of 121095
Subject: Re: married filing separately as head of househo Date: 3/24/2001 1:16 PM
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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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