Understanding Tax Exemptions in Divorce

Understanding Tax Exemptions in Divorce

One issue that many clients have to deal with is deciding which parent will be able to claim the child (or children) as dependents for tax exemptions in divorce.  This decision can impact other areas of your case, including child support and alimony numbers.  Tax exemptions for children can lead to thousands of dollars in savings each year.  This is a big reason why they are often hotly contested.

Typically, there are a couple of options when deciding how to settle the issue of who will claim the kids on taxes.  First, if one parent will be exercising the majority of the time with the children, it is common for that parent to receive the right to claim the children. This is not necessarily mandatory, however; in cases where one parent only gets the kids every other weekend, that parent can still claim the children if the parties agree.

Timesharing and Tax Exemptions in Divorce

In cases where the parties have a more even timesharing split, it is common for the parties to alternate the tax exemptions in divorce. For example, the wife might claim the child or children in even years. Then the husband will claim them in odd years.  There is no hard and fast rule.

What if you cannot come to an agreement?

In cases where the parties cannot come to an agreement, there are no hard and fast rules. Typically, the Judge will view this issue as a matter of equity (just like many other family law issues).  Taking that into consideration he will rule accordingly.

As stated above, the decision made regarding tax exemptions can affect child support and/or alimony.  Generally speaking, if a parent is awarded the tax exemption, that will increase their yearly income, and therefore increase (if they are the payor) or decrease (if they are the payee) their child support obligation.  Likewise, as it relates to alimony, the party receiving the tax exemption will have more available income and therefore will theoretically need less alimony.

A divorce can be a trying time and many times we are not thinking clearly. The emotion and charged environment in a divorce can cause us to overlook important decisions.  Allow us to be that calm voice for you. We will make sure that you are fully represented and that everything is taken care of in the process.  Call a Jacksonville Family Law Attorney today at Harris Guidi Rosner at 904-777-7777.

Chris Wilson

Chris has been a Family Law and Criminal Law attorney since 2001. He is an attorney with the Jacksonville Law Firm of Harris Guidi Rosner, P.A.