Child Support 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 was granted a divorce in Arizona in 1998, my husband never paid child support or alimony. Can I request the court to get him to pay it to me now, even though it is years later?
  • My ex is trying to go after me for child support. I only make 600 a month and im married. Will the courts go off my husbands income and make me pay more because he makes more? I believe my ex makes more then me in disability.
  • I have a stipulated judgment on child support arrears. DCSE continues every month to try and garnish my accounts and take my taxes. I am and have always been current on the payments stipulated in the judgment. How can they take action when I am not in arrears on the stipulation?
  • I was court ordered to pay a certain amount of child support ($1000) My income has changed drastically due to job change. I cannot afford to pay the full amount of the court order but have still been making monthly payments every month ($200). My ex now wants me to go to jail for not paying full payment. Is this possible?
  • If the father of my children has been living at home since he got released from prison, and I am no longer getting des assistance how do we get the child support order stopped and get some of the back pay removed from what is owed when he was in prison?
  • My court order has required me to pay for medical insurance for my daughter which I have done. My court order also states that each party is responsibe for one half of all uncovered medical expenses. We currently are in a situation where our medical deductible has not been met therefore a total hospital bill is due in the amount of $2200 for my daughter. My ex wife is refusing to pay her half...what do I need to do?
  • My daughters father has sole custody of her I pay child support for her but she lives with me for almost years now What should i do. Her father lives in another.
  • I found out that my ex has been working a different name so he doesnt pay child support what can I do?
  • WHAT IS THE DIFFERNCE FROM COURT CHILD SUPPORT VS DES DIVISION CHILD SUPPORT??
  • can a judge overturn child support when the parents signed a agreement 3 years ago

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