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 have had my nephew for almost a year..his mother doesn't want him an his dad my brother is in jail..she will not give me anything staying he is with me cause she doesn't want to have to pay for him...i don't want her money I just want to be able to take him to the doctor an such...how should I handle this situation
  • Do state minimum disclosure laws ARS 25-403 require a written request for discovery. e.g. 2yrs. Tax return. Paystubs with ytd etc
  • I work at home and currently have Joint 50/50 decision-making and parenting time. If I continue to exercise my first right of refusal while the other party is working would that be helpful when going back to court post-decree to help get more time with the children?
  • My parents were never married and my mom recently got married I was wonder if her husband has any custodial because they are married. Or does he only get rights if my father gets his parental rights revoked.
  • Me and my ex wife have shared custody of our six year old daughter for the past 5 and half years. My ex wife now wants to move from chandler to queen creek, changing my daughters school to the queen creek area. I stated this was not fair because my drive would increase to 15 extra miles per trip, adding more drive time during my visitation days. Is this a fair assumption on my part? If we go to court what should I expect from a judge's descision?
  • I am divorced and we have 50/50 custody. However my ex-wife was sexually abused by her father. We currently have it in our parenting plan that he is never to be alone with them. I feel they should never sleep under the same roof as him. My Ex wife thinks it is ok and contually takes the children to his house and spends the night there with them. There have never been any legal actions taken against the abusive father/grandfather. However should I take it further?
  • How do I serve my child's Father court papers if he is missing?
  • I have a son who his father and I aren't married but the father is on the birth certificate. His father just got out of prison and threatens me with leaving the state with my son. How do I get soul custody of my son?
  • The father of my daughter left 3 years ago and never came back has NEVER contacted her or me in any way possible I want to file for sole custody how likely am I to win it? Does it count as abandonment? What else can he be charged with? I don't want him to have any rights over my daughter.
  • Hello If the mother of the child does not mention domestic abuse nor filed and order or protection during the initial custody paperwork (for example when the child is a newborn) can they later come back and claim domestic abuse happened during pregnancy by the father over 6 years later?

STORIES

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

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