I am not sure what modern "being married" is in terms of conventional concept of traditional marriage, since I am an old style family-oriented man. Don't mention about what "independent" means in terms of legal context.
Well, we have evolved so many legal concepts that contradict themselves sometimes. A buyer of mine asked me a good question when I told her about the new federal plan for first-time home buyer's tax refundable credit of $8,000:
"I have NEVER owned a property or house in my past 5 years or in ALL my LIFE. Do you think I am qualifying the program?"
Good question, isn't it?
To qualify as a first-time home buyer, the law (?) says: Who has never owned a home as his/ her prime residence in the past 3 years. Well, you may simply answer: she is over-qualified, isn't she?
Don't be so fast, did you consider other factors that may involved? At least, consider our "marriage penalty" in our legal system.
Even she was "legally" seperated for a while, She has been married until this moment. During their marriage, they are not mingling their property. It is a fact that her husband has owned a house where he, she and her kids live as their own residence. But, it is HIS sole property, not HERS. Looking everywhere in the county recorder office or courthouse, no file is able to deny the fact that she does not "legally" own any piece or part interest of property in USA or the whole world. So, you think it is very simple and clear that she is qualified to the federal mercy?
Are you sure about your conclusion? Please not be so fast again. Let's ask IRS bureacrats what they think first before she gets in trouble.
The answer from IRS is loud and clear: "NO! You are not qualified to apply the tax credit of $8,000."
Do you know what the rationale IRS has behind this interpretation? Let's see what my real estate agent folks think and answer first. I will continue the logic in 2 days.