Separation, divorce, dissolution of civil partnership and civil annulment

Year of separation, divorce or dissolution of civil partnership

You can elect to be treated as married or in a civil partnership for tax purposes in the year you:

  • separate
  • divorce
  • dissolve your civil partnership.

This is set out in the next page, Election for married or civil partnership treatment.

Where you do not choose to remain treated as married or in a civil partnership for tax purposes, special rules apply. These are set out below. Your tax in the year you seperate will depend on how you were taxed when you were married or in a civil partnership.

See the Marriage and civil partnerships section for more information on how married couples and civil partners are taxed.

Joint assessment

If you were the assessable spouse or nominated civil partner, you will be taxed on:

  • all your income for the full year
  • your former spouse or civil partner's income up to the date of separation.

This includes any legally enforceable maintenance payments made to you which are for your benefit only.

You can claim the following credits in the year of separation:

If you were the non-assessable spouse or civil partner, you will be taxed on the income you earn from the date of separation to the end of the year. This includes any legally enforceable maintenance payments made to you which are for your benefit only. You can claim the following credits:

Separate assessment

If you were separately assessed the rules for jointly assessed couples above will apply.

You will be treated as the assessable spouse or nominated civil partner if either:

  • You were the assessable spouse or civil partner before you or your partner chose separate assessment
  • You are the spouse or civil partner with higher income if you were never jointly assessed

Otherwise, you will be treated as if you were the non-assessable spouse or civil partner.

Separate treatment (also known as single assessment)

If you were assessed as single people before your separation, your income tax treatment after separation will broadly be the same.

You will also be taxed on any legally enforceable maintenance payments made to you which are for your benefit only.

You will be able to claim the following credits:

Next: Electing for married or civil partnership treatment