Other Family Issues 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 am looking for the legal term used in court to have the other party speak for themselves and not the attorney.
  • My girlfriend of 23 years who has two boys from a previous age 33 & 26 and & our kids for years I worked and gave her my checks and she payed the bills,over the years we accomplished a lot, two homes& a 1bedroom apartment, recently I came home from work one day and she had moved out, leaving me with all bills and house payments.also she hadn't payed anything for 5 months,she had also signed the title to my car putting it in her name, can I press charges ?
  • joint legal custody, i am the custodial parent, but father has final say. Is the father allowed to deny the child to go to be better school to receive a better education? He has no reason to not allow her to go to the new school other than he doesn't think its necessary. She almost failed 5th grade at her current public school. If I take him to court what are the chances of the judge allowing her to go to the better school? Isn't it supposed to be about what is in the child's best interest, not just about who has final say?
  • I have been divorced 3 years our my ex husband was supposed to give me half of our retirement money but right before signing he said he lost it in our divorce decree it says that he was supposed to pay the full amount within a year but has failed to do so, additionally we agreed that he would keep managing our children investment account and was supposed to provide me with quarterly statements but I found out he spent the money lastly he is behind a few months in alimony, would you recommend I hire a lawyer or could I file directly through the court
  • My boyfriend owes almost $100,000 to the State of California. He is paying off the welfare that his ex wife was on. His paychecks are garnished and as of a few days ago his bank account was too. I was planning on joining the Navy in the spring and we wanted to get married. My question is: Will his child support debt transfer to me?Will they be able to garnish my wages and bank account? Will any of this be put on my credit score?
  • I would like to know if I leave my husband and my house with my baby because I am tired of him for always getting home from work and taking a shower and leaving the house and not coming back until 4am. He does not love me or spend and time with our baby at all. I left my house and he said that he was going to sue me with the (Child Protective Services) for abandoning the home. Can he do that? He also said that he will try to get full custody of our child, but he hardly takes care of her or spend any time with her. I want to divorse him but what can I do to legally leave my house?
  • My 4 year old son's mother wants to move out of the state with him. What can I do to stop the move?
  • I have helped raise my 3 year old grand daughter. She stays with me at least 3 nights a week with me not including days. My daughter has new boyfriend who is violent & has issues with me. Now I'm not allowed to see my grand daughter at all. My daughter tends to change my grand daughters life as she changes boyfriends, per how they choose to live. Was wondering about my grand mothers rights & how I file for them.
  • what age is a teenager allowed to leave the home legally?
  • My uncle has custody of my sister and he won't let her have contact with me is there anything I can do so that I am able to be in contact with her

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