The Nebraska Supreme Court says judges can’t order divorcing couples to file joint federal tax returns.
But the high court said in a ruling released Friday that if one spouse is unreasonably refusing to file a joint tax return, the judge can adjust the way the couple’s assets are divided.
Filing a joint tax return usually results in lower tax liability, but the high court said ordering a couple to file jointly is problematic because one spouse would be exposed to some unknown additional tax liability.
And federal law allows married couples to choose to file separately if they want to.
The Supreme Court ruling overturned a previous order in the divorce of Jennifer Lynn Dalbey and Matthew John Bock. Dalbey had objected to the joint tax returns.