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If you meet all these requirements, then you don't have to pay the portion of tax that relates to this erroneous item.
This is available while still married. Innocent spouse relief may be available even if you're still married to, and living with, the spouse who should have reported additional tax. If you have assets of your own and want to protect them from collection by the IRS, these rules determine whether you can be held liable.
Lack of knowledge is the biggest factor here. If you only knew (or had reason to know) about part of the understatement of tax, you're only stuck for that part. If you had reason to believe your spouse was cheating to the extent of a few hundred dollars and it turned out to be many thousands, you should only have to pay the smaller amount. Thus, now you have knowledge you must report this to the IRS. However, since this just occurred you may indeed remain held liable still.
You need to sit with a local tax attorney immediately to discuss your options, such as filing separate tax returns immediately.
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