Couples who decide to divorce are often concerned with resolving the most visible and practical matters: child custody, visitation, and support, as well as spousal support and property division. In addition to these highly important issues, there are some less obvious but significant matters that could affect the parties financially once the divorce is finalized. For example, according to the Internal Revenue Service, most married couples file joint tax returns because of certain benefits this filing status affords them. This means that both spouses are jointly and severally liable for the tax, and any additions to tax, interest, or penalties that arise from the joint return even if they later divorce. In order to completely understand your potential liability for taxes and other financial burdens in divorce, it is essential that you contact a local San Diego family law attorney as soon as possible.
Under current California law, a spouse may find relief from such tax liability after a divorce, but only if the dissolution of marriage meets certain required conditions. There are several types of relief, including Innocent Spouse Relief, Separation of Liability Relief, and Equitable Relief. Each category provides eligibility requirements in order to qualify for the specific relief sought. Alternatively, a spouse may be eligible for a revision of joint and several tax liability by “court order” if the court-issued divorce decree contains an order relieving a party of some or all of the unpaid tax due from a joint tax liability. These legal steps are intricate and must be followed in order to obtain relief.