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Author: Patzer Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 681  
Subject: Re: Anyone out there, Question.. Date: 12/24/2003 1:40 PM
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The tax thing was my fault. The marriage ended as the result of his affiar, and at the time, I was only thinking of securing primary custody of our son. Money, tax exemptions, none of that crossed my mind. And I guess, not my lawyers either. I just thought since we were both paying for the care of our child, we would alternate the years on tax exemptions.

The exemption for the child should follow tax law. If I understand it correctly (and I'm not a lawyer, just a guy who does his own taxes and is getting divorced) the relevant test is that you must provide at least 50% of the child's support to be able to claim the exemption. This can be overridden by an agreement that is part of a divorce decree; but it would need to be specifically written into the settlement. (Check with your own tax advisor for both the accuracy of my understanding and its applicability to your own situation.)

It is my understanding that the alternating year exemption practice can arise either from a provision in the divorce settlement that this will happen, or between two people who amicably divorce and simply agree to do this. If it is the latter, it depends on the honor of both parties; the IRS will not challenge a consistent assertion by both parents on which one deserves the exemption. (Check with your own tax advisor, yada yada.)

Patzer
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