Separated Spouses - joint offer now in appeals

  • MFJ couple who are now separated.
  • Joint offer submitted, rejected, and now in appeals.
  • We are challenging some line items.
  • Can they combine their expenses (rent, food, etc.) now? (We don’t want to ask the Appeals Officer just yet).
  • Or should they file separate offers?
  • If so, will the liability be split 50/50 or based on income? (she makes less than he does)


When it comes to combining the expenses, I would approach it is as follows:

  1. Establish the % of total family income. Ex. TP makes $2,000 a month and SP makes $4000. He would contribute 33.3% and she would contribute 66.7%.

  2. Determine the expenses for each person (actual or standard). Apply the % for each expense and then add together:
    TP- Rent $1000 * 33.3%= $333 per month
    SP- Rent $1500 * 66.7%= $1,000.50 per month
    TOTAL Monthly Rent: $1,333.50

  3. Apply that to all of the expenses.

  4. You will need to show your calculations and fully explain how you came to the results.

Let me know if you have any questions.

Hope that helps,


Thank you so much, Jeff.
The appeals officer said they would have to submit two offers. Easier to let it be.
Thanks again.