Release of dependency exemption trumps child support

In two recent cases, the Tax Court ruled on the validity of a dependency exemption release to a noncustodial parent. Taken together, the cases illustrate how a properly executed and filed Form 8332, Release/Revocation of Release of Claim to Exemption for Child by Custodial Parent, is the key to releasing a claim of exemption and outweighs state court orders.

In Armstrong, the court denied the deduction and child tax credit to a noncustodial father who did not attach Form 8332 to his 2007 tax return. The taxpayer, Billy Armstrong, did attach a copy of an “arbitration award” indicating he would be entitled to the dependency exemption for one of his and his ex-wife’s two children if he stayed current with child support. Upon audit, he also provided a 2003 state court order that incorporated the arbitration award and a 2007 state court order signed by the ex-wife that explicitly required the ex-wife to provide him with an executed Form 8332 or its equivalent if his support payments were current, which they were. The IRS rejected his claim because the award and orders were conditioned upon current payment of child support. The majority opinion of the Tax Court agreed that the state court orders did not unconditionally declare that Armstrong’s ex-wife would not claim the exemption and therefore could not substitute for Form 8332.

Written by Karyn Bybee Friske and Darlene Pulliam. To read the full article, click here. For more information on family law attorneys, visit our website http://www.jwbrookslaw.com

Same-Sex Marriage and Religious Freedom, Fundamentally at Odds

In recent essays at Public Discourse, Mark Regnerus argued that same-sex marriage would harm marriage for everyone, and John Smoot argued that it would be bad for children in particular. Today I want to show the damage that redefining marriage does to religious freedom. At bottom, even the defense of religious liberty is a struggle over what is true and false about the meaning of marriage.

Should the truth about marriage—that it unites men and women so that children will have fathers and mothers—be defied by the laws of the land, we cannot expect the religious freedom of those who believe in that ancient truth to be respected under the new dominion of falsehood.

Written by Matthew Franck. To read the full article, click here. For more information on family law attorneys, visit our website http://www.jwbrookslaw.com

Child Support: Tennessee Man Lives Out Of His Car To Make Payments

On Wednesday, Memphis’ Action News 5 profiled “Billy” (not his real name), a man who says he’s living out of his Buick in order to make his child support payments.

Billy reportedly owes $14,000 to a woman he fathered a child with 16 years ago. In order to make ends meet, he told Action News 5 that he had to decide between his car and his home.

“I’m just overwhelmed with the [child support] bills,” Billy said. “So I made the choice to live in my vehicle, so I can get to and from work.”

Watch the video above for more on Billy’s story. Then, click through the slideshow below for 14 celebrity parents who reportedly had trouble making their child support payments.

Written by Huffington Post. To read the full article, click here. For more information on family law attorneys, visit our website http://www.jwbrookslaw.com

Supreme Court Upholds Gay Marriage (Divorce too)

The right to marry is about a lot more than tax equality. But in dollars and cents, the right to file joint tax returns is nothing compared to what happens when a relationship dissolves. When a married couple splits, there’s no limit on the money or property the two can transfer tax-free between them. See IRS Publication 504, Divorced or Separated Individuals.

Marriages end, and even our Byzantine tax code recognizes that it is unfair to tax either party. Dividing the assets is not a sale for tax purposes. That means no income tax to either party.

What’s more, there’s no gift tax either, unless the spouse receiving assets isn’t a U.S. citizen. Compare this tax-favored divorce to what happens when an unwed couple splits. It’s all taxed.

Written by Robert W. Wood. To read the full article, click here. For more information on family law attorneys, visit our website http://www.jwbrookslaw.com/