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thenon-goddess posted 3/18/2014 18:29 PM

Are taxes discussed in mediation?
I'm a SAHM (well, I work one day a week). It makes most sense to allow him to claim the kids on taxes, but that obviously gives him the return for them. I'll have the kids 100% of the time (he's already said he doesn't want any sort of custody), so would I get any portion of the tax return? When I mentioned to him that I thought I'd get a portion of it he was pretty irate. We got back nearly $8,000 this year and I'm sure the idea of having $8,000 in play money each year was appealing to him. He was fine with everything until I mentioned giving me part of the tax return and now he's pissed.
Anyway, for those of you that are divorced - was your ex ordered to pay you any portion of a tax return that he might receive each year? Is that typical or an exception?

phmh posted 3/18/2014 18:34 PM

If you do this, make sure that you have a lawyer that understands the tax laws.

He could just adjust his withholding at work, get more into his paycheck each month, and his tax return would be zero.

This is definitely something you don't want to negotiate yourself!

courageous posted 3/18/2014 18:35 PM

Do NOT do it. There is nothing you can do to hold him to give you a portion of his tax return. Keep the kids for credit for yourself. You will be surprised how much you can get back in your tax return.

I strongly urge you to not sign the kids' credit away.

woundedby2 posted 3/18/2014 18:36 PM

Unless ordered otherwise in your decree, the parent who has the majority of custody files as head of household and claims the kids. It can make a really big difference in your tax situation and finances. Don't underestimate the value of the tax right off.

If you specifically address this in your settlement, and you give up the tax right off, make sure you are getting something else in return.

devistatedmom posted 3/18/2014 19:01 PM

You have custody, you claim them on your taxes, not him! Why would you let him claim them if he doesn't want any custody?? The reason for the deduction is to help with raising them!

You claim them, you get the deduction, you get your refund, he gets his. If this cuts his refund, oh well!!!

If you got $8000 filing taxes together, it wouldn't be the same filing apart anyway! You have your expenses, he has his. That's the way it is. Him losing the claim to them is part of the consequences of divorce.

thenon-goddess posted 3/18/2014 19:15 PM

Because I make less than $400/month and it's under the table (I clean for a friend). There is no tax return to get credit for them on.

imwideawake posted 3/18/2014 19:35 PM

You have to claim alimony as income. Claiming them will decrease the amount of taxes you have to pay on the alimony.

[This message edited by imwideawake at 7:35 PM, March 18th (Tuesday)]

Williesmom posted 3/18/2014 19:37 PM

If you get alimony, you will have to pay tax on that, so you'll need to file a return.

You definitely should not give away that deduction so easily. If he isn't interested in custody, fuck him.

I agree with the other poster. If you do give up that deduction, you get something in return, such as $$xx per month.

Do not agree to getting a part of his return each year- my brother did exactly as the other poster suggested. He was supposed to split his return with his wxw. I told him to change his withholding so that he received no return at the end of the year.

Whatever you agree to, get it in a legal document. As for him: actions, meet consequences.

thenon-goddess posted 3/18/2014 19:56 PM

You have to claim alimony as income. Claiming them will decrease the amount of taxes you have to pay on the alimony.

Thanks, I did not realize that. So will I pay taxes on the child support portion of it, too? Or just the alimony portion?

brokenblackbird posted 3/18/2014 19:57 PM

Just the alimony. Child support is not taxable.

You pay taxes on RECEIVING the alimony.

He gets to take that as a deduction for paying it.

thenon-goddess posted 3/18/2014 20:10 PM

So is there any way to forfeit the alimony and exchange it for child support? Or is that not in my best interest. I have 4 kids and there is not a lot of money to begin with (WH makes about $34,000/yr). I'm just looking for the way to end up with the most amount of money for the both of us, because honestly, as much as I do want to be away from him, he does need to live too. He is giving me the house and the contents. I'm not looking to shaft him for revenge, just amicably be split from him.

Gemini71 posted 3/18/2014 20:20 PM

It is not 'shafting' him to keep the child deduction for yourself. If the divorce settlement does not address who gets the kids for taxes, the IRS has a set of rules that it follows. First and foremost is "who had them for the most nights".

Also, you don't want to exchange alimony for child support. Your kids will age out of child support. Don't worry about his financial situation after all of this. He fired you from that job, remember? Worry about yourself and your kids, since they will be with you all the time.

If money's tight, apply for free school lunches, food stamps, and any other aid you can think of. That is what it is there for. Good luck.

vcr1995 posted 3/18/2014 20:27 PM

Also, if he only makes $34,000 a year your portion is not going to be enough to live on. You will have to go to work and you will need them to claim on taxes. You need to think long term and not sign away your rights to claim them.

thenon-goddess posted 3/18/2014 20:31 PM

My kids are all young. How long does alimony last? We've only been married for 12 years. I think I'd end up aging out of alimony first?
And I know it's not shafting him. I just mean I do understand there are only so many dollars to go around. If I'd only get $50 a week in alimony (for instance) my tax return for that money would be nothing compared to the return he'd get for taxes. Is there any sort of wording that can state that he has to pay me, for instance $3,000, above and beyond normal child support, by April (or whatever month) of each new year?

ETA: going to work is not an option right now. Part of the reason I've been "okay" with being in this separated limbo for as long as I have been. My children are young and childcare costs would be a lot (I know there is govt assistance for that). On top of that I have 2 children with learning disorders and one with anxiety disorder. He is already struggling right now. Sending him to a daycare after a long day of school, that he already struggles with, is not an option. I have applied for SSI for him (he has several other health issues), but I have not received a reply on that yet.
I have no bills (car is paid, no cellphone, no credit cards, so cable), so actually it is do-able, I have crunched the numbers, it will just take discipline and precise budgeting. Why a tax return would be really helpful.

[This message edited by thenon-goddess at 8:39 PM, March 18th (Tuesday)]

Kajem posted 3/18/2014 20:46 PM

Don't sign away your deductions.

Alimony is taxable, CS is not.

I also have 4 kids, we split the kids for deductions until they were 18. CS ends at 18 in my state. At that point the kids went on to college, and since he isn't supporting them any longer, they revert back to me.

Since my kids live with me, I had to GIVE him permission to claim the kids. The IRS requires a form signed by the custodial parent for the non-custodial parent to claim the kids.

You can offer to give him the deduction this year, in exchange for half the return. Just make sure to get the agreement in writing.

In the near future, that deduction can really help you. Earned income tax credits has given me returns that are significantly larger than XH's. You'll need that money, trust me.

thenon-goddess posted 3/18/2014 20:57 PM

Since my kids live with me, I had to GIVE him permission to claim the kids. The IRS requires a form signed by the custodial parent for the non-custodial parent to claim the kids.

You can offer to give him the deduction this year, in exchange for half the return. Just make sure to get the agreement in writing.

Thanks, Kajem. That makes sense. This is all new to me. I have an appointment at the courthouse on Friday to file and fill out the paperwork for financial help towards filing costs. Lawyers are not even an option for me/us, there is no money for that, so I'll have to figure this crap out as I go.

HopeImOverIt posted 3/19/2014 14:10 PM

On Child Support (CS) vs. Spousal Support (SS, also called "alimony" sometimes):

SS is generally not re-negotiable. If your Ex gets a big increase in income, that won't help you.

CS IS re-negotiable. You don't even have to go back to court, your state's department of child welfare will do it for you. How often you can renegotiate varies by state; where I live it's every 3 years or ANY TIME there is an increase/decrease more than 20%.

SS is often limited to a few number of years. I have heard rules like 1 year SS for every 3 years of marriage. If you've been married 12 years, that would be 4 years of SS.

CS lasts at least until a child turns 18. In some cases it may go longer, such as a child in college or a special needs child.

SS usually ends when the spouse receiving it gets remarried or co-habitates with somene of the opposite sex.

CS does not depend on your marital/living situation.

SS is taxable to the receiver and tax-deductible by the payer.

CS is not taxable for the receiver. The payer cannot take a tax deduction for it.

For young children I think CS is usually preferable. For long-time marriages with grown children SS will be better.

Getting a part of someone's tax refund is not a deal I'd take, as it depends too much on things you don't control. As another poster already pointed out, it's trivially easy for someone to go to their payroll department and adjust their withholdings so their refund ends up zero or negative. This is totally legal per the IRS. My company even sends us an email once a year suggesting we look at our withholdings and adjust them if we think it makes sense.

newlysingle posted 3/19/2014 14:34 PM

You really need to see an attorney to protect yourself. You may not be entitled to any alimony at all. It's going to depend on your state laws and possibly negotiating with your STBX. I was able to get 5 years out of my XH when the courts probably only would have awarded me two. Twelve years of marriage isn't that long in the eyes of the court, so I wouldn't depend on that to live on long term. You may only get it for a couple of years at best.

You will need to plan on paying about 5-6% of your alimony towards taxes. This can be reduced by some factors like, claiming the kids, education expenses, etc.

As far as who claims the kids, this should be spelled out in the divorce. Yes, you should definitely make sure that you are able to claim them. In my case, my XH gets them 2 years and then I claim them the third. We will do this until the alimony is up in 5 years. At that point, I plan on claiming them every year as I have majority custody and he will only be paying child support.

thenon-goddess posted 3/19/2014 16:12 PM

Hope, thank you for that - that's very helpful!
Newlysingle, there is no money for a lawyer. I have spoken with a volunteer legal service for my state, but for domestic matters, like divorce, they will not represent you. They will help you file paperwork over the phone and understand what you're filing, but that will not be present at mediation or any trial proceedings, or suggest things ( like asking for CS over SS). They will answer questions, but you've hot to know what to ask.
STBX is being decent. He is not trying to hold back on child support (in fact he suggested a figure more than I was asking and more than the state would require), but the taxes seemed to be a hot button. I know our big refund this year seemed like a sweet deal for him next year and that was what he was pissed about. I do get what you're all saying though, re him adjusting withholdings, etc. and I'll make sure I advocate that for myself, it is a shame though because until I am working a normal job, my privilege to claim them is a waste. The majority of my income will come from him in the form of child support. In a couple of years it will come in handy, though.
Thanks again :)

Can Not Believe posted 3/19/2014 18:56 PM

the nongoddess

please - Please - PLEASE listen to me:

Do NOT give up the right to claim your child (children) for tax purposes.

I am a business teacher whose major is in accounting and marketing. I do individual income-tax preparation for family and friends.

LISTEN to devistatedmom:

You have custody, you claim them on your taxes, not him! Why would you let him claim them if he doesn't want any custody?? The reason for the deduction is to help with raising them!

You claim them, you get the deduction, you get your refund, he gets his. If this cuts his refund, oh well!!!

If you got $8000 filing taxes together, it wouldn't be the same filing apart anyway! You have your expenses, he has his. That's the way it is. Him losing the claim to them is part of the consequences of divorce

LISTEN to Williesmom:

If you get alimony, you will have to pay tax on that, so you'll need to file a return.

You definitely should not give away that deduction so easily. If he isn't interested in custody, fuck him.

I agree with the other poster. If you do give up that deduction, you get something in return, such as $$xx per month.

Do not agree to getting a part of his return each year- my brother did exactly as the other poster suggested. He was supposed to split his return with his wxw. I told him to change his withholding so that he received no return at the end of the year.

Whatever you agree to, get it in a legal document. As for him: actions, meet consequences

THIS IS SO TRUE. I have helped "SO MANY" family and friends on this one.

NEVER - give up that tax advantage. NEVER!!

KNOWLEDGE IS POWER!! This is one thing I KNOW about.

You get a BIG tax advantage for HEAD OF HOUSEHOLD with qualifying children. BIG!!!!!!!

You don't know WHAT he will do in the future. HOW he will change on you. YOU JUST DON'T KNOW.

However, all of these people, including me - DO KNOW!!

The most you should do for him (IF YOU ARE SO INCLINED) - is to let him claim ONE child - and you claim the rest. BUT THAT'S it!!!

Any lawyer looking out for YOUR best interest - (I think)would advise you for that.

PLUS - the LOWER your income - the BIGGER the tax break.

If you are looking out for YOUR future and YOUR children's welfare, DO NOT GIVE UP THE RIGHT TO CLAIM THOSE CHILDREN!!

There - my advice to you is MY good deed for the day. I can now REST!!

CAN NOT BELIEVE

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