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Ok, here's the scenario.....

My wife and I live in California. We separated on May 31, 2000 and filed for divorce, but the divorce was not final as of Dec 31, 2000. I moved out of our jointly owned home approximately June 15, 2000. My 17 y/o daughter has lived with me full time since then and I have provided over 50% of her support as well as paying 100% of the costs of my rental apartment. My wife continued living in the house and she has paid all home expenses since June 15. Our son lives with her full time and she provides over 50% of his support.


1) Since we each maintained separate homes and lived apart for the last 6+ months of the year, and we both had a qualifying dependent living with us, can we both qualify for and file separately with Head of Household status?

2) If yes, are we considered "unamarried" as far as income tax goes?

3) If we are "unmarried" then I assume we are exempt from the "If one married person itemizes, so must the other" rule. I can take the standard deduction even if she itemizes. Correct?

4) What are the rules for splitting deductions that apply to us? Can one taxpayer, i.e. her in this case, claim all the home-related deductions for the year since she paid more than half or can she only deduct the portion she actually paid, i.e. half of the costs through June 15 plus all the costs June 15 - Dec 31.

5) Because we live in a community property state, does that mean we must each report 50% of all income, deductible expenses, and amounts withheld for the period Jan 1-May 31 (through separation date) or do we each simply report what is on our own W-2's?

Any and all help is appreciated!! Thanks!
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