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

  • I am the father of a 5 year old and the mom wants me to keep my child. I do not know for how long. I want to make sure I go into this the right way. Are there any forms or legal documents I should be filing out? Please help!
  • My daughter lives in Northern AZ and had a child and lived with the father for 7 years. The relationship ended with the father filing custody papers with both parents having equal time with the child. He never has paid child support with my daughter never asking for it. He has been in several relationships with women married and divorced along with moving 10 times within 1 1/2 years. Long story short, my daughter has provided her with a stable home. He has hired a lawyer, she can't afford one. She has used legal aide but they won't go to the hearing. I'm worried she will loose wo/ a lawyer.
  • i need direction in finding a class were i can take for reinterduction so that i may see my children
  • The mother of my 3 year old child was killed in a car accident recently. Paternity was established at the hospital when my child was born . Up until her death we worked out custody, child support and parenting time without having to go through the courts. She had unofficial "custody", because my child was with her when she died, CPS investigated and informs me that since it appears that mother was the custodial parent, that I need to establish custody through the courts. Can someone make sense of why I would need to establish custody, per CPS
  • What do I do if my ex registered my daughter for kindergarten and we have 50/50 yet she didn't include me and we live an hour away from each other
  • I have been accepted to job corps a program that pays for everything for me to study and on the job training. the only state that allows me to take my 7 month child with me is North Dakota. The father of my child hasnt been in her life these last three months even when i call him and text him he just ignores me. He is on the birth certificate but isnt helping me with any child expenses and doesnt even want to see her. He said it was okay for me to take her before but he got mad one day and said i couldnt. Their is no papers set down in court either.
  • My mother gave me my 12 year old brother "temporarily" for an unknown amount of time and he is currently living with me, my wife and two younger children. What options do I have in terms of getting custody or guardianship of him.
  • My son had a girlfriend that is having a baby any day. The girlfriend has been with us and under our care untill recently. She has grown up in a unstable and unsafe and abusive living environment. The mother who has custody recently came back into her life with her boyfriend that use to molest the girl I'm speaking of. The girl was living with her great grandma and they moved onto the property and she feels unsafe there and they made her go back . When she had her baby can she and my son sign a pepper giving me legal custody of the baby untill they are 18 . Please help asap. Thank you.
  • I am representing myself, Pro Per in a short 1 hour hearing on temp orders. I am the petitioner and the respondent is listing me as on e of her witnesses to call. Can I refuse to take the stand as her objective will be to get me to testify against myself and I cannot cross examine myself after? Also can I and how could I ask the Judge to not grant every witness she has submitted, time on the stand, as that will run out the clock with so many of them? I have not called any witnesses because we only were given an hour and thought this was only to go over the details of already submitted evidence
  • I have 3 children and all under the age of 18. I also have sole custody and my ex-husband only has visitation. He is almost $100,000 in back child support.(not sure if it matters) I am moving out of AZ and going to KY in June of this year. My question is; is there a way he can stop me from moving so far, even though the court papers state he willingly gave up his custody? Also, I am not sure who or how I notify the courts(which courts?) of our move or what paperwork to complete.

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