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If someone is married but filing as head of household, can the refund be intercepted for unpaid child support owed by their spouse or do they only do that when filing a joint return? Also does living in a community property state (Arizona) change the answers to my questions?

Filing Status Head of Household
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Amanda Bodkin, EA
If you are married, there are only two ways to file. Either Married filing Joint or Married filing Separate.

There are occasions where you can meet another filing status, such as head of household, which is you are separated for more than half of the year living separately, with the intentions of getting divorced.

For the sake of this question, I am going to assume you do qualify for the Head of Household status under what is said above.

In most states, If you are filing as Head of Household, no, your refund should not be intercepted, as your ex-spouses social security number will not be tied to your return in any way. However, with a community property state, when you marry and the minute you file together (Or separate as each spouse must include the social security number of their partner on their return), their debt becomes your debt and your debt becomes their debt, regardless of when the debt was incurred. You are both equally responsible for the full payment of the debt.

If you ever filed together with your spouse prior to now, yes, your refund could be intercepted to pay the liability owed.
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