Oklahoma Law Starts with a Presumption That You Will Split the Benefit
Video Transcribed: My name is Jason Lile, and I am a Tulsa Dads Rights lawyer. One of the issues that my clients deal with when they’re getting divorced, or if they’re just doing a paternity case for custody, visitation, and child support for one or more of their children, is taxes.
Now, normally when you’re married, or you are living with a partner and filing taxes together, that’s not an issue, but once you’re apart, obviously, one of the main economic benefits of having children is that you get to claim them as dependents on your taxes for state and federal taxes.
That’s an economically valuable benefit that must be split when you’re no longer together. How do we split that? Oklahoma law starts with a presumption that you will split the benefit. If there’s one child, you trade off every year. If there are two children, maybe you split until one age out and then trade off yearly, et cetera.
Often that benefit is written into the orders to be contingent upon the person receiving the benefit being caught up with child support. It incentivizes that person to stay caught up with child support.
Suppose you’re the person receiving the child support. In that case, a good lawyer will advocate that that provision is in your orders to try and encourage the other party to continue paying child support.
The other thing is that your attorney should inform you of the tax implications. Normally it’s enough for it to be in an order to say that you’re entitled to claim them as a dependent in your home.
If you don’t have enough visitation or the children technically aren’t staying in your home at all, the IRS might inquire, or it might have implications for the IRS because they’re not actual dependents.
You should often consult with an accountant or a tax professional about what it means for somebody to be a dependent in your home.
The other thing is if, and I often have run into this situation, you were entitled to claim the child in a particular year. The other party did and filed taxes, and now the IRS is rejecting your tax return, or the state tax commission is rejecting your tax return. You need a lawyer to go and enforce your rights about that.