I recently came across an article in the New York Post titled “How to Handle the Financial Pitfalls of Divorce”. Naturally, I was intrigued as this is one of the main areas of concern for anyone going through a divorce or thinking about separating from their spouse. As the article summarizes, it is nearly impossible to go through a divorce without financial frustration. Dividing assets is a cumbersome and often lengthy process. One way to potentially ease the pain of the process is by becoming familiar with both your and your spouse’s assets and debts and gathering as much information regarding the assets and debts as you can. Once parties separate, gathering information is one of the biggest and most expensive parts of the divorce process. Beginning the separation or divorce process with as much knowledge of your assets and debts is one way to handle the financial frustration that often accompanies divorce.
During the beginning of each new year, our clients often have questions regarding how their family law case will impact their taxes. One of the issues that parents going through a divorce or child custody case must resolve is which parent will claim the children on their tax return. The dependent exemption can result in big tax savings to the spouse or parent who is able to claim the children on their tax return.
The dependent exemption reduces the party’s taxable income. For the 2016 tax year, the dependent exemption is $4,050 for each child which is a substantial decrease in taxable income, especially if there are multiple children.
The IRS has clearly defined guidelines that answer the question of who will claim the children on their tax return. It is the “custodial parent” who will be able to claim the children on their tax return.
A custodial parent is defined by the IRS as:
“The custodial parent is generally the parent with whom the child lived for the greater number of nights during the year. The noncustodial parent is the other parent. If the child was with each parent for an equal number of nights, the custodial parent is the parent with the higher adjusted gross income”
During a divorce or child custody case, the custodial parent may release their claim to the dependent exemption. The custodial parent may desire to do this for various reasons. For instance, the custodial parent’s taxable income may be too high and thus the exemption is phased out or the parties may have agreed to alternate the exemption each year. If the custodial parent is releasing their claim to the exemption, then the custodial parent must fill out IRS Form 8332. This form allows the custodial parent to release their claim for one individual year, certain specific years (i.e. even or odd years), or for all future years. The noncustodial parent must attach Form 8332 to their return each year that they are claiming the children on their taxes.
The issue of dependency exemptions in a divorce or child custody case is a complex issue. Family law cases can last over a year before there is a final resolution. Both parents may feel entitled to claim the children while their case is pending but absent a written agreement and a signed Form 8332, the custodial parent as defined by the IRS will be the parent who claims the children on their tax return.
It is best to discuss this issue with both an attorney and an accountant. If you would like to set up a consult with Christophillis & Gallivan, please call our office at (864)233-4445.
We have had some very exciting changes at Christophillis & Gallivan including moving to our new office space located at 420 E. Park Avenue, Suite 301, Greenville, South Carolina 29601.
Now that we are in our new space, we are expanding our staff and have two current job openings. If you, or someone you know, is interested in applying for either of these positions, please contact us at Jessica@cglawsc.com.
Positions Currently Open:
Experienced Certified Paralegal
Paralegals will work under the direct supervision of an attorney. The job duties include:
Client communication & correspondence including letters, emails, and phone calls
Drafting of Pleadings and other legal documents
Preparation of Temporary Hearing and Guardian ad Litem packets
Scheduling Hearings, Meditations, Client meetings
Correspondence with opposing counsel and the Court
Managing court dates and timely correspondence with clients regarding hearings and mediation
Drafting correspondence to Judges, Opposing Counsel, Opposing Parties, and clients
Organizing client work and being proactive regarding progress in client cases
Drafting subpoenas and other discovery
*Bilingual (English/Spanish) is a plus.
Front Desk Receptionist
The job duties/skills include:
Receives and directs calls to destinations using excellent phone etiquette and verbal communication skills. Must have good command of the English language, verbal and written. Determines nature of the call and directs caller to appropriate party.
Greets visitors in a professional and courteous manner. Announces and directs visitors to appropriate locations.
Sorts and distributes incoming mail and courier services daily. Receives all outgoing mail and gets to post office box.
Maintains reception and conference room areas.
Must have high level of interpersonal skills to handle sensitive and confidential situations and to communicate within all levels of the organization.
Responsible for upholding the principles of confidentiality and security as they relate to this position.
Must have high degree of professionalism, including appearance and telephone manner.
Must always represent the firm in a credible and positive manner.
We are excited to share our article in Greenville Journal's 2015 Behind the Counter magazine. This year, the magazine focuses on 100 Local Companies. We are honored to be included in this list with some of the most innovative and respected companies in the community. Be sure to pick up your copy today!
For access to the full magazine, please use this link: http://issuu.com/cjdesigns/docs/btc2015_web?e=2014166/12232490
Ashton Kutcher’s recent facebook post is putting a spotlight on the issue of parenting equality between moms and dads. He posted: “There are NEVER diaper changing stations in mens public restrooms. The first public men's room that I go into that has one gets a free shout out on my FB page! #BeTheChange”
As moms and dads are now more equal in child care responsibilities and child custody arrangements in our society, trends in gender stereotyping are being called to catch up.