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

  • 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 have a son that is almost 2. His father and I have been together for 4 years. Because of work we moved to CA 10 months ago. There is domestic violence in the relationship. I need to get my son away from his father into a safer environment. I am planning to move back to AZ. Does anyone know if I am able to file for full custody in AZ. My son was born in Gilbert and lived in Chandler from birth until we moved. (1 year) I am trying to figure out the best way to get back to AZ and obtain full custody while not endangering my son or myself from his fathers anger. Any advice is appreciated.
  • at what age can the child decide which parent they want to live with full time, i.e. court is now out of the decision process. custody is totally in the mindset of the child.
  • What exactly is "AZ ST 25-403.08" (Resources & Fees). I am a father of 2 boys and am at the final trial which is ending April. I have pretty much run out of financial resources to oay for an attorney and I have inadequate knowledge of the procedures and rules of the court. I have only petitioned to modify custody because my ex was making threats to take the children away and later she petitions for an enforcement of the decree. AZ ST 25-403.08??
  • .I have a four month old son.the father took him I never bring them back nobody has legal custody over him in the fighters on drugs I can prove it
  • We currently have 6 month temporary custody of our grandson. We obtained this in court in mid-January, Our grandson has lived with us since birth but his mom and dad lived with us as follows: his dad until june of 2014 and his mom until Aug. 2014. This is while they fight this out in court. We want our daughter to get custody. How do we go about getting visitation since we have already been being his sole caregiver and support for over 6 months now. We just want documented visitation in court documents. How do we do this?
  • My son-in-law sued for divorce from my daughter. Two kids are involved--16 and 11. His attorney (say Mr. X) has subpoenaed me to testify on his client's behalf. I do not want to testify. Q1. Does the fact that his attorney met with my wife and me c. 1 yr ago to discuss my daughter's issues as the relate to the kids disqualify him as having knowledge we gave in confidence to him? Q2. Does the same apply to my wife, my daughter's step mother? Q3. I have worked with both to provide a negotiated settlement, divulging information that may compromise her if I testify. Will this disqualify me?
  • My daughters father just recently was just given sole legal decision making. Does this mean he has full custody over the child?
  • can the mother of my children take the kids out of the county without permission while the case is still in process in maricopa county?
  • I live in the state of michigan. I have an 18 month old little boy and my ex boyfriend is trying to take custody of him from me. I have had my son for the last 14 months on my own and live with my boyfriend in michigan. I have court and cant go to arizona due to the fact I just had a new baby. I am trying to file a telephonic appearance form but have not been able to locate the forms I need to file. this is the only thing standing between custody of my son and me showing up.

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