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Messages - mistoffolees

Child Support Issues / RE: Tax question
Jan 01, 2008, 06:30:06 PM
Go to the IRS FAQ page you cited. Now, open Form 8332. It states that the divorce decree is sufficient to define who gets the deduction without filing Form 8332 as long as 3 conditions are met.

So, as long as those 3 conditions are met, the court order is essentially the same (from the IRS POV) as if the spouse who does NOT get the deduction signed a Form 8332.

That seems to work most of the time in practice, as well. Provide the documentation they ask for on Form 8332 and you should be OK.

Child Support Issues / RE: Tax question
Dec 31, 2007, 03:55:27 PM
I would stick with the original parenting plan wrt taxes. In general, if one part of an agreement is changed or struck down, the remainder would not be changed (you might even have wording to that effect in the agreement).

If it were me, I would file the taxes (as quickly as possible), take the deduction, and attache a copy of the original parenting plan. Since the court has not changed the tax portion of the parenting plan, I would argue that this is the most appropriate action.

But you'd be better off asking your attorney that question.
However, in this case, the parenting plan specifically states that the father gets the deduction in alternate years. This is sufficient for the IRS in most cases- if the parenting plan has been signed by the court.
Child Support Issues / RE: Tax question
Dec 24, 2007, 06:40:41 PM
>When parents are not married to each other, the parent who
>has custody more than 50% of the nights gets to take the
>exemption as long as the parents together (mother and father)
>provide more than 50% of the support.
>Sounds like the mother gets it.

This is true in most cases. However, as I read the original post, there is a valid, court-ordered parenting plan in case which defines who gets the deduction. If that is true, then the divorce decree takes precedence. If there's no court order, then you are correct.

It sounds like the current order is being challenged. That is irrelevant. It remains valid until it is superceded by a new court order.

Sorry if I'm misunderstanding. The original post wasn't clear.
Before you do anything, I'd do the math.

Let's say that your friend gets what she wants - $80 per month added to CS and that it happens on the child's 11th birthday. That's $960 per year or under $7,000 until the child is 18.

In order to get that, she's going to spend several thousand dollars on lawyers, so the benefit will be less - and she'll be in the hole for the first couple of years, at least. And, in return, XH can challenge everything - including custody - and make it even more expensive. Not to mention that there's a risk of all sorts of weird things happening.

Furthermore, her chances of winning are slim. As soon as she files, he'll start using his visitation again and by the time it gets to court (which will probably take several months), he can show his records that he has used 100% of his visitation and she'll look like a fool - and maybe even end up paying his legal bills.

OTOH, if she leaves things alone, she's got all that extra time with the child and she's taking the high road.

Is it worth starting a fight that she might not win and antagonizing a situation which appears to have largely settled down?

Sure, it's not fair, but you've got to play the hand you've been dealt rather than the one you wish you had.
lilywhite is right. It has nothing to do with the decree. In some states, you have a legal obligation to support handicapped children whether you're divorced or still married. Your divorce decree can't override state law (although I assume that it is possible for one parent to agree to pick up the share for both parents if it is set up that way).

See what your state law says rather than worrying about what your divorce decree says.
>To the OP, if your child needs money for books...he or she
>will need to do what most college students do...GO OUT AND GET
>A JOB!  It might mean they can only go to school part time,
>but they will get the benefit of continuing their education,
>both in a classroom environment, and in the real world.

Exactly. My parents didn't pay for my education. One of my SDs paid for her own, the other felt entitled to an expensive private school. We told her she could go wherever she wanted, but that our contribution was going to be the equivalent of the local state school. She'd have to come up with the rest on her own (she did).
Child support is not typically awarded based on the percentage of time the kids spend with you or the number of meals they eat with you or who buys their clothes, etc. Instead, it's awarded based on the percentage of overnights - which (as you've pointed out) can be a very different figure. If you had the kids from 6 am to 10 pm every day, fed them all their meals, bought all their clothes, etc and your ex had them from 10 pm to 6 am every day, you'd have 0% overnights - and be paying the other person support.

That's the standard rule. The courts certainly have the ability to override the standard in cases such as this.  Keep in mind that salary enters into the equation in some (but not all) states. (So if your stbx is making much less than you are, you could end up paying support even if you have 50% or more of the overnights.) In your case, your ex is making twice what you are, but has 5 overnights vs your 2. You'll have to do the math, but I would guess that you're not going to be able to justify support - or at least it will be a big uphill battle. Basically, you'd have to convince the judge to ignore the standard which is based on overnights. I'd suggest talking to an attorney familiar with the practice in your area to see if that's something your courts will consider. It's one of those things that makes sense, but that doesn't mean it will happen.
Child Support Issues / RE: Questions...
Nov 11, 2007, 08:26:01 AM
Remember that CSE is state funded (partially reimbursed by the federal government) in most states. That means that tax dollars pay the majority of the cost of collecting CS.

The interest is insignificant if they're passing the money on quickly. On a $250 check, the interest for one day is less than $0.03 at 4%. In order to collect that $0.03, they need to have someone track the interest and account for it. If the average office person is making $15 per hour and it takes them 1 minute of work to track and account for the paperwork, it would cost them $0.25 to collect $0.03 per day. Yes, the interest on millions of checks adds up, but so does the work.

Most of CSE's budget (at least in my state) is pure taxpayer funded. That's why the latest survey says that the state recovers $4.83 in child support for every dollar of state funding.

Why do they spend that money?
First, because citizens want child support collected.
Second, because if they don't collect child support, some of those children will end up on welfare and the state will pay the full cost of supporting the kids - not 1/$4.83 of the cost.
Child Support Issues / RE: POSITION statement
Nov 10, 2007, 07:07:17 AM

>That was kinda the point I was trying to make. There is too
>much waste large portions of money intended to go to one place
>is going towards others. It is not that the system can't work,
>it can and in some situations does but not always. Your never
>going to get any social program or any other program for that
>matter to have a 100% success rate and there are always
>improvements to be made. Really on paper there is little wrong
>with the system it is in the process of trying to make it work
>that things don't get carried out as it should, mistakes are
>made, people get hurt and so do children. If they used all the
>money they wasted and pissed away to regulate the system the
>results would be better all the way around. The main problem
>with the system is human error, lazyness, and people trying to
>get one over on the system. I too hold your position of I
>"believe in social services, but believing in them and
>believing in how many of them are run are two totally

Absolutely. I agree completely with that.

However, I do not believe that justifies scrapping the system - which is what has been proposed.

Instead, I think a couple of things should happen:

1. Wherever possible, people should be paying their child support directly. If that happened 100% of the time, there's be no need for CSE. That's clearly never going to happen, but the more often people pay directly, the less need for CSE.

2. When people CHOOSE to use CSE for whatever reason (and, yes, there are very good reasons on both sides), they need to be aware that there's a cost for doing so.

3. Of course, like any government (or private, for that matter) program, there's waste. An effort should be made to reduce the waste in ANY program. In this case, there are a number of incompetent people and efforts should be made to have them removed from CSE, for example.

The system can be improved - no doubt. That doesn't mean that it's worthless or unnecessary - as some have proposed.