I'm getting divorced, and have concerns about divorce and taxes. My divorce won't be final until 2016 . I'm also the primary custodial parent of a minor child and can claim her on my 2015 return. What filing status should I use?

You can't file single until the divorce is final.

You must file either:

  • Married filing jointly
  • Married filing separately

You might be able to file as head of household if you're unmarried or considered unmarried on the last day of the year. Your filing status is considered unmarried on the last day of the tax year if all of these apply:

  • You file a separate return.
  • You paid more than half the cost of keeping up a home for the year.
  • Your spouse didn't live in your home during the last six months of the year. (Your spouse is considered to live in your home even if he or she is temporarily absent.)
  • Except for temporary absences, like school, your home was the main home for more than half the year for your:
    • Child
    • Stepchild
    • Foster child
  • You’re able to claim an exemption for the child. Or, you can't claim the exemption since the noncustodial parent is claiming the child.

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So how much will you get (or owe) this year? That’s the million-dollar question. We happen to have three very useful calculators to help you estimate your refund or balance due.

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