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 son who is 12yrs old has been living with me for the last 6 months. His mother has not worked in about 4yrs and moved several times and at this time has no place to live or car. She gets 1226. a month from me. She has medical issues and feel she is not stable. She has been admitted to a behavioral hospital a couple times and is currently on probation for her daughters truancy. I want to know whats the best way to get custody of my son. Im afraid if she finds out she will take him from me
  • My daughter's mother is not following our child care plan. Specifically she is taking my daughter out of town during my holiday time. Can I request a hearing and what do I file to get the hearing.
  • My wife and I weren't married when our first two children were born, shortly after the second we married now we are divorcing my name is on the birth certificates and they carry my last name she isn't letting me have them can u tell me how much rights I have to visitation
  • i asked a question a few weeks ago but i cannot recall my assigned id number to check the answer. i live in ca but my child lives in az and i have a custody case in maricopa county. my childs mom is on drugs and has tested positive on court mandated drug tests. i am trying to obtain legal services. i do not have funds so i was directed to this site. is there any way i can get help even tho i live out of state?
  • 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?
  • I never married the father of my daughter. Will he be able to take custody of my daughter. He is a convicted felon and currently does not have a place to live. I pay for her insurance, preschool, clothes and food. I want to get sole custody. Is it possible.
  • does the fatherhave the same legal rights as i do even thoughhe is an illegal immigrant?
  • is it leagal for an unwed mother to move out of state with kids if the mother has posesion of them?
  • How do i get information on how to file for sole custody on my two kids 6 years old and 3 years old. The father's are willing sign any paper works since they are not in there life.
  • My daughters father who has being in prison for 17 years is thrusting me with having custody of my child 7 days a week every other week. He is not on the birth certificate and has not been part of her life, she is now 5 months old, he asked me to abort when I told him I was pregnant. Will the court grant him custody. He was in prison for holding a family hostage.

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