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Any thoughts in this situation?

Los Angeles, CA |

We share 50-50 custody of my son We arenow finalizing our divorce. But over the past 5 years we decided to split our child as a tax dependant. Meaning Last year she used him, and I will use him this year. In the stipulated judgement that has been prepared, she wants me to ammend my taxes and demands that she use him this year. Claiming that she had him 50.3% of the time last year and therfor entitled to use him on her taxes.
We now are going to court over this. This seems a bit odd to claim considering all the circumstances like leap year for instance. Any thought here?

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Attorney answers 2

Posted

Enforce the written agreement that you alternate years. Simple

Asker

Posted

Unfortunately there is no written agreement, we have been basically having this arrangement verbally. I only have the previous taxe filings that indicate which years i used him.

Posted

It sounds like what you did over the last 5 years was done informally, without a written agreement or court order. According to the IRS Code, the parent with more than 50% custodial time files as Head of Household and claims the children as dependents. The parties are entitled to come to a different agreement, including alternating years as you both did before. At this point, however, it doesn't sound like there is an agreement, and therefore the IRS Code controls.

Asker

Posted

I appreciate your cmment Ms Waxman. So, I guess it means I can in the future account for the hours I spend with my child and then request the court to give me the tax credit? What if I happend to achieve more than 50% for the next 4 years? If all this was done informally. I guesss I can take my child this year as informally agreed upon. Until a stipulated judgement is put in place...

Tobie Brina Waxman

Tobie Brina Waxman

Posted

If you have a stipulated judgment that has been signed by both of you, you have a legally binding agreement, even if it has not yet been signed by the Judge. It's not clear whether the stipulated judgment you referred to was simply a proposal, or something you both have committed to. While I'm assuming you are being sarcastic, you are actually correct. In the absence of an order, written and signed agreement, or judgment, you are not bound by any particular custody arrangement or informal agreement. And, as I said, you can continue to alternate years during which one of you claims the deduction. Your main problem now is that she is not agreeing with you and no longer complying with the informal arrangement you both followed for the last 5 years.