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The frustrations of the custodial parent

A life involving a divorce can be rather frustrating sometimes. Many single parents in Columbus, Ohio, know this and live with this frustration, experiencing it on a regular basis. Some of the major divorce issues come with child custody. With tax season upon us, these issues may be compounded by the requests and behavior of a former spouse or the noncustodial parent.

Child custody determinations often require that the noncustodial parent make child support payments. In some cases, divorce settlements allow the payments to be made and full custody to be awarded to one parent but only if certain criteria is met. For one woman who got divorced in January 2012 after being married for five years, that criteria was relinquishing her right to claim her children as dependents.

The tax benefits of claiming your children as dependents are well known. By relinquishing them, she would be sacrificing a major financial gain that could benefit her and the kids. She has full custody of her two sons and was supposed to receive support until they turned 18 years old. According to the woman, her former husband is about a year behind in child support and alimony. Despite this, his accountant recently requested that she sign the proper IRS documents to give her ex the right to claim the dependents.

She saw this as ridiculous, considering that the divorce settlement agreed to child support. Though it also agreed to her relinquishment of the dependency tax credits, she said that she did not feel that it was fair for her to give this up while receiving no support from her ex. Without the proper documentation, he will be unable to claim the boys as dependents.

This is where an attorney may come in handy. At least one expert said that if the accountant sought legal action, the courts would give her the power to determine what she wanted in exchange for the dependency claim.

Source: Philly, "A fishy situation in child support," Harry Gross, March 22, 2013

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