Child Custody Article


Federal and State Tax Exemptions for Dependent Children: Who gets to claim them?


 The Guidelines provide two options.  The first is an agreement between the parents.  Usually, this will happen when the parents come to an amicable settlement on all issues.  If the parents are already struggling to compromise on other issues, do not be surprised if the opposing party will not agree to your tax dependency proposal.  However, it is a possibility for an agreement to be reached.  If the agreement is reached, the parents can make any plan for the tax dependency exemption.  There are no requirements. 

 If the parties cannot agree, then the Guidelines provide a formula for determining who will claim and when they will claim.  The formula is based on each parent’s proportion to the parties combined adjusted gross income.  The formula also does not allow for a parent to claim more than four years in a row.  Lets look at some examples to understand how the formula works. 

 Example 1:  Dad makes about $60,000 annually.  Mom makes about $40,000 annually.  Their combined gross income is $100,000.  Dad’s share of the income is 60%, which equates to 3/5.  Mom’s share of the income is 40%, or 2/5.  Thus, Dad will get to claim the minor child every 3 out of 5 years, and Mom will get to claim the child every 2 out of 5 years. 

 Example 2:  Pretend that in the above example, the parties only have 1 child.  Say they have three children now.  The parents could continue the pattern as discussed above for all three children.  Now if Dad’s income was 33% of the total income or 1/3 and Mom’s income was 67% or 2/3 and they have three children, they could do a similar pattern, or Dad will always claim two children, and Mom will always claim one child.  There is some flexibility here. 

 There are a number of other examples that can come from this formula.  Just remember, it depends on the proportion of the parties combined adjusted gross income.  Another piece of advice is that the child support worksheets will give you a recommendation as well.  So if you are not good at doing math, just take a look at the child support calculator and see what that recommendation is. 

 Overall, the tax dependency exemption should not be complicated nor cause conflict between the parties.  This is why there are guidelines in place to settle those conflicts.  However, I do recommend that if you and the other parent are capable of coming to an agreement on your own terms, it will usually be better for you both, and you will feel better about the results. 

Contributing Attorney: Billie Tarascio litigates family law and domestic violence cases at Modern Law


Comments:

QUESTIONS

  • How do you give the other parent the 60 day notice to be able to move? Do you serve them or go to the court to file a paper?
  • If I have full custody does that mean I will be the one to name my child when they are born ?
  • My girlfriend and I have a 9 month old son together. During an argument She recently threatened to take my son away from me and I would never see him again. She kicked me out of my apt which I pay for and pay the bills. What are my rights? and how do I go about custody if I leave our home?
  • My ex had 50/50 legal decision making and then left our child with me and moved over 150 miles away. He did not file for a petition for relocation and did not make any attempts to see the child for over a year. Does this constitute as him waiving his rights to the child since he abandoned him for over a year.
  • I have a dughter who i want custody of, her grandmother says she has custody. Grandmother says that her daughter, amanda gave up her rights to our daughter. I was in prison while this was going on and they told judge they didnt know where i was. anyway, her environment is very bad for her. I have a fiance of 3 years and decided i dont care if my daughter hates me and doesnt want to live with me i cant continue to let her live like she is. it is not good for her well being. how do i get a hold of documents to find out who has custody and if mom gave up all rights? mom is in jail now.
  • I have custody of my 2 girls. I live in Colorado and their Dad lives in Texas. His last visit he had the girls for 8 weeks over summer. He decided he did not want to return them and got a restraining order against me stating that I did not provide medical and dental care for my children. His support payments just went up. I had to hire an attorney in Texas to get my children back. They are home but he continues to cause trouble by calling CPS. They came out and found nothing wrong and left. He wants them again in Nov. how do I protect myself so he does not do this all over again.
  • If the father is out of work, behind on child support and does not have a vehicle, does this effect his rights to decisions and time with the child, of 4 years of age?
  • I have joint custody with my ex, but i have to move due to financial probs. I will not be able to have the kids because their school will be too far away. Do I need to file something with the court. I fear my ex will say I abandoned the kids.
  • I have had 50/50 shared everything (court ordered) with my ex for 6 years . He just moved to Florida with only a week and a half notice leaving our daughter with me. Nothing was filed when he left. Can I file that he abandoned our child and seek full custody? what would be the first step?
  • Do I need an attorney to represent me in court for visitation time with my 10 year old son?

STORIES

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  • He told me that I could actually get all the money I needed by using my home as collateral. . .
  • If you get a divorce, make sure your date of birth is on the Decree if your name is changing!. . .

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