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


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QUESTIONS

  • My husband and I are getting divorced and have 4 children under the age of 12. We have not been able to reach an agreement on custody and temporary orders  included that joint physical custody be granted. In addition, there are "parentling evaluations" scheduled . What is a "Parenting evaluation" and what kinds of questions should I expect? Will there be an opportunity for me to provide the evaluator with inforation? Thank you!
  • Can i legally move out of the state of arizona with my 3 year old if her mother is incarcerated for a 4 year sentence? We were never married I am in the birth certificate i have had my daughter in my care for 21 months
  • At what age do you have a right to live with a parent you feel safe with ?
  • i am a low income family with 2 daughter ages 3 and 5. I need a good attorney that wont charge me too much. I heard about Modest Means and that they help low income families with family law situations. can u give me any info as to how I can get started with them or a list of attorneys that accept Modest Means? thank you
  • My wife and I are currently seperated I am thinking about a divorce we have a 16 yearold daughter and she ha child that is almost two while we were married. I have helped raise him and continue to help while we have been seperartwed, do I have any rights of joinrt cusrtody or viitartion.
  • Is it possible to get emergency custody if you have not yet filed for divorce?
  • I have a baby on the way in December i was 17 when we had sex and she is 14 but i was told she was 16 he mom knows about it but every time i dont do what here mom want when she want it she said im going to press charges and all the
  • My boyfriend is still married to his wife, they have 3 children together. A 6 year old girl, 5 year old girl and a 2 year old boy. The mother has custody of them right now, but 4 months ago she told us she had no home for the kids to live in, no car, no job and could not take care of them. She gave us their birth certificates, social security cards, shot records everything! She has called 2-5 times in 4 months and only has seen them twice. We have put the two girls in school now and she has not helped us pay for anything. What can we do about the custody for them? Can we try for abandonment ?
  • I have two children who live with their mother , recently on the visits they refuse to go home citing emotional and some psychical abuse. my daughter had cutting scars on her arm and said it was cause her mom emotional bullied her to that point.When they are with me there is no issues with the children, how could I get sole custody to keep my kids and keep them from the abuse they sustain at their mothers .There is no custody plan in place just a child support order for both children
  • Will ignoring my drug addict, stalker ex hurt my case if he ever attempts to attain custody of our son?

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