Does my husband’s ex-wife have right to my income information on our joint tax returns?

UPDATED: Jun 16, 2011

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Does my husband’s ex-wife have right to my income information on our joint tax returns?

I am getting married in about 4 months; my fiance is divorced with 2 children. He was married for 10 years and pays child support but no alimony. His divorce agreement calls for an annual child support re-calculation and W2’s and other tax forms be provided each for other for that purpose. We plan to file for the 2011 year jointly to take advantage of the marriage deduction, which means my income information will now be on the tax return. Do I have privacy rights whereby I can hide my income from his ex-wife for (example by crossing these line items out before sending to her)? Or do I lose that privacy?

Asked on June 16, 2011 under Family Law, Massachusetts


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Your income will be relevant since you will be living together, and the more you earn and pay toward your joint living expenses, the more disposable income your husband will have, and therefore the more he can afford to pay in child support. He can legally be compelled to produce your joint return. Even if you file separately, he will still need to prove his expenses so you income may come into play; additionally, filing separately will cost you money. 

You can ask the court to allow you to "redact" or cross off your financial information from your joint returns. In certain cases it may grant permission for you to do so.

At this point you should consult directly with a divorce attorney in your area. 

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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