“My husband makes roughly 35-40,00 a year and I make roughly 10,000. My husband makes roughly 35-40,00 a year and I make roughly 10,000.”----> As you can see, you are subject to HOH filing status ( if you satisfy other conditions for HOH); as you said, the six month rule is for people who split up, not for people away temporarily. In this particular case, actually you do not need to file your tax return UNESS you claim your refund ( if you are subject to; if your quarterly estimated taxes> tax liability on your 1040 or you claim earned income tax credit, refundable child tax credit or etc.). Your spouse’ll be better off by filing return as MFJ, than MFS, And you are worse off; by filing your return as MFJ, you may not claim your earned income credit. For instance, if the AGI for MFJ exceeds $40,545 for one qualifying child for 2010, you can’t claim earned income credit; if you file as HOH, then even your AGI is $10,000, you can get over $3,300 of EIC. As filing your return as HOH, you can reduce your tax liability UNLESS your taxable income increases sharply. However, I guess as your taxable income is negative ( $10,000-$8,400-$3650*2=($5,700), so tax liability for 2010 as HOH filer is zero. If you file your return as MFJ with your spouse, then you will be worse off; as you pay tax liability. Assume that your spouse’s gross income is $40,000 and your gross income is $10,000, then your total gross income is $50,000 as MFJ, then your taxable income is $27,650; $50,000 ($5700*2+43,650*3)=$27,650 and the tax liability $3,314. The portion of your tax liability is $64. This means that you should pay $64(roughly) of tax liability as you file your return as MFJ. As your spouse files his return as MFS, then his taxable income is $30,650; $40,000-$5,700-$3,650=$30,650, his tax liability is $4,183. When filing his return as MFJ, his portion of the tax liability is $3,764. So your spouse can reduce his tax liability by $419; $4,183-$3,764. In the case of your spouse, filing his return as the Married Filing Separately , in general, provides fewer tax benefits than filing joint returns as shown above even though taxpayers need to weigh the pros and cons and decide for themselves which is the best filing status.
Please go to the table here; http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/i1040tt.pdf
“ I am torn between filing with him and filing on my own as HOH.”----> As said above, it is fundamentally up to your decision; however, filing your return as MFJ is not good choice for you.