Message Font: Serif | Sans-Serif
No. of Recommendations: 0
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.)

Print the post  


When Life Gives You Lemons
We all have had hardships and made poor decisions. The important thing is how we respond and grow. Read the story of a Fool who started from nothing, and looks to gain everything.
Contact Us
Contact Customer Service and other Fool departments here.
Work for Fools?
Winner of the Washingtonian great places to work, and Glassdoor #1 Company to Work For 2015! Have access to all of TMF's online and email products for FREE, and be paid for your contributions to TMF! Click the link and start your Fool career.