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 old is a child before he or she can speak for themselves about who they want and don't want to visit
  • before my child's birth can I temporarily give custody to my grandmother of my new born child
  • The father of my children had sole custody, and he committed suicide. I am wondering if I need to file for custody or if it automatically reverts to the mother. The children are with me, and have been since the incident. i have the death certificate and have filed at the social security office. I just feel funny not having anything that says I have custody. Should I file a modification or is it a waste of time?
  • My child do want to go back after her weekend visit, cause she is having mental issues and is scared of her father. But he got custody of my child. Do I half to make her go?
  • I am currently married and live in Gila County. My husband has moved out on my 2 children and I 1 week ago, and I have the opportunity to leave the state of Arizona to start over. Can I take my children as long as I put it in writing to him of where I am going and contact information?
  • 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 two boys ages 8 and 11 they are with me 50% of the time and my ex wife their mother the other 50 5 of the time. this was established in the divorce papers. Their mother has a new job theat requires her to work 12 hour night shifts. I have offered to take the boys duing these times and was denied by their mother. I have since requested the names and contact info of the individuals who will be watching them during these times and was denied this information by the mother as well. My question is- What are my rights and what can I do to insure that my boys are properly cared for?
  • I am the guardian of my 2 grandchildren (their mother is my oldest daughter) she had been in a domestic violence situation with the kids dad (he is in prison until July 2016) she lives with friends, no job, possible drugs. He does drugs and has a new girlfriend pregnant. I do not want either of them to obtain children EVER. What can I do to protect the kids and myself since Arizona tends to want to reunite children and parents. This is not a good idea with either of the biological parents. I love them to much to have them suffer. Guardian since 2010, they are age 9 and 6. suggestions?
  • My daughter had a child out of wedlock. Her boyfriend is threatening to fight for custody. What are his rights and chances of acquiring custody? He is on the birth certificate.
  • My husband is in the army and we are getting ready to PCS out of state. He has joint custody of his 6 year old son with his ex, neither of them are listed as the primary parent. However, we have him 90% of the time and want to take him with us. He basically just sleeps at her house 2 nights a week and every other weekend. We feel like we have a really good case for multiple reasons that I can't put down with this character limit. His ex is aware of the move & wants their son to stay here. My question is, whats the best way to go about filling this w/the court because we cant afford a lawyer.

STORIES

  • Age discrimination in the workplace. . .
  • He told me that I could actually get all the money I needed by using my home as collateral. . .
  • I just helped my mother, age 89, deal with her Medicare HMO. . .

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