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 a 10 month old son, I was not married to the father, he is on the birthcertificate, we have lived together not as a couple but raising him since his birth, I want to move to another state to live with a family member to start my life over, I have received mixed legal advise on this, there are NO documents in place determining custody etc,Do I have custody since I am his mother like other states and can I leave without any legal consequences?
  • I filled for custody back in 2009 and we were awarded joint custody. The father of my children has no contact with our children. I want to modify for sole custody . I'm not sure if any judge will change the order? What forms do I have to file?
  • Does grandparents have any rights to take my child from , also my sister that lives in alabama is going to try and take my child.
  • "When parents are unmarried and no order has been entered to establish parental rights, the biological father has no legal right to either custody or parenting time until paternity is established." I read this in a question on the website and I was wondering if the child has the fathers last name, does it still mean they have no legal rights until official paternity has been established?
  • I recently lost my son to my girlfriend she called the cops on me and took my son we were having a lot of problems, but she didn't want to worked them out ,now that she's left she has a tempted to let my son come over so I can see him ,but she keeps putting it off and she won't pick up the phone to set up another day so I can see my son ,but she won't pick up the phone what rights do I have as a father that loves his son so much and she doesn't care that I see my son I found out while she was living with me she was cheating all this time, it's not right that she's keeping my son from me.
  • If I'm on my son's birth certificate, can my sons mother hold him away from me, and not allow me to see him for no reason?
  • Can I do a change of venue if I and the kids in question have lived in one place for over 7years and the mother opened case in other county where she lives? How do I request and complete change of venue to my county?
  • My Grandson and his parents went to California to visit other Grandparents. Both his parents decided to go to rehab. Grandpa filed for guardianship. Mom left rehab after a week and moved in with a friend and continued to use. Dad stayed in rehab for 60 days and came back to Arizona to get a job and a place to live for him and his son. Now he wants to bring his son home. Mom and Dad are not married , Dad is not on Birth Cert, But child does have Dads last name. He has been in California for a total of 6 months. How do I get custody of my almost 3 year old son?
  • what steps can a father take when his ex which is the mother of his baby decides she wants to end the relationship n leave the baby with him? And then decides two days later she wants the baby back and calls the police? Does he have to give the baby back? this is the second time the mother has done this so is it abandoment?
  • How do I file a "resopnse" to a "summons" for joint custody? It isnt ordered yet. I have 20days to "respond"

STORIES

  • He told me that I could actually get all the money I needed by using my home as collateral. . .
  • He told me that I could actually get all the money I needed by using my home as collateral. . .
  • I just helped my mother, age 89, deal with her Medicare HMO. . .

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