My husband’s wages are being garnished for income taxes. We were thinking of getting a legal separation in case my income could possibly become garnished as well if he does not fulfill his obligation.
Would this strategic legal separation help us in this situation?
This answer only includes general divorce help for men since I am only licensed to practice in Oklahoma and am thus unable to provide legal separation advice on the laws in your state.
I also am not a tax attorney so I cannot advise you as to your proposed strategy of avoiding the possibility of wage garnishment for failure to pay back taxes by seeking a legal separation. I strongly recommend you seek the advice of a tax professional and a tax attorney before pursuing any such strategy.
As for legal separation, you would likely find that it contains all of the headaches of getting a divorce without actually terminating the marriage. In most jurisdictions, the court may make findings and issue orders dividing and awarding property, awarding alimony, determining child custody, granting child support, and granting temporary possession of property.
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On a positive note, the court is likely not bound by any express residency requirement or waiting periods. Thus, a Decree of Legal Separation may be entered the day the Petition for Legal Separation is filed. In light of your potential tax issues, you may wish to consider whether or not you really need to put yourself through that process.
In any event, a tax attorney will be able to tell you if your strategy would even achieve your desired goal. If you find that you are exposed and legal separation will protect you, a family law attorney will be able to provide legal separation advice.
Please understand that my opinions are based upon the limited facts that you provided to me. For a more in depth discussion on marriage separation advice, I urge you to contact a divorce lawyer.