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 ex-husband just got arrested for an extreme DUI. We have gone through mediation in the past and he agreed to "conditional sole custody" but now disputes it. How would I go about getting sole custody with supervised visitation? Do I need to go through mediation again or do I go straight to a hearing? 
  • We had a a verbal agreement to allow our son to attend a school out of district as long as my ex would take him to school on a daily basis..he got upset with me and broke the verbal agreement two months before school was out i was forced to make a temporay change in my work schedule to allow my son to finsih up the school year.next year i want to place him in the school which he is suppose to attent which is in our district and two blocks away from each of our homes. can he fight me on this we have joint legal custody ..will sedning him a certified letter making him aware of the change be ok?
  • my sons mother and i were never married and paternity has not been established. support and visitation have been by a "gentlemans" agreeement. recently however his mother has become unresponsive, threatened to leave the state and used that threat to "blackmail" me for 2,000 dollars for her unpaid rent. i love my son a great deal and would like to both prevent her leaving w/ him and obtain custody. please advise on the expeditious way to accomplish this. thanks for your help...
  • im filing for divorce from my husband whom i havent been with for the last 15 years, he is currently incarcerated and we have a 16 year old daughter together. we both still have custody of her however she wants to stay with her grandmother in safford. i still get her everything that she needs. i provide everything for her that she needs. do i have to sign over custody of her if i file for divorce instead of keeping things the way that we are currently doing it?
  • I want to obtain full custody of my children right now their dad has not seen them in months but is paying child support he has had trouble with the law and has been in jail and also problems with drugs how can I file for full custody and is that something that can be granted or what will it take for that to be granted..
  • My ex-wife and I have joint physical and legal custody of our two children. I carry their health insurance, by court order. My ex-wife has issues with our son at home, which we do not experience in our home. He has anger and agression issues, and is now acting out at school. She took him to a therpist who recommened he be medicated, and she wants him medicated as well. I do not support this, but she said I do not have a say in the situation. She will not provide me with the name of the doctor or drug. Can I file something with the court to keep my son from taking the medicine?
  • My parents might be getting a divorce, so is it possible for me to claim custody over my younger siblings as their guardian? If so, how?
  • My sons father moved out of state with my son and now he is saying that he will not be bringing him to me for the summer which is ordered by the court in my state. Is there anything that I can do to make him follow the court order since he does not live in the same state as I?
  • I am a father i recently seperated from my kids mom i have been there since day one but she refuses to let me see them she has had a drug problem for many years now do to her drug abuse she has a medical condition that she sometimes cant even get up from bed i need legal help to get custody of my kids or to get visitation rights to make sure my kids are being taken care of
  • We have a 10 yr old daughter. My ex has supervised visitation, which he chooses not to participate in. He has not complied with any of the court orders to date. It should be noted that there is a history of drug abuse & mental illness. He has now started bullying me online & threatening to take me back to court again. The new theory is parental alienation even though it's of his own doing. My concern is the lies & harassment. I can't afford to lose my job because I support our daughter. I already changed jobs once because he repeatedly called & harassed me there. What options do I have?

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