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Child Support Guide (Part 10): Remarriages and Claiming a Child as a Dependent

Child Support GuideWith more than 20 years of experience working as a lawyer, Mr. Shapiro knows how confusing the landscape can be to divorcing spouses and separating partners. Not only do these couples need to figure out how to divide their assets fairly among themselves, but they may also need to make important decisions about family homes, how businesses should be dissolved, and even who should have custody over shared children.

One common issue that Mr. Shapiro frequently deals with during a divorce case covers “child support”, the financial support paid to a custodial parent from a non-custodial parent to assist in maintaining a high quality of life for that child.

This guide represents Mr. Shapiro’s attempt to curate information from throughout this website, into an easy-to-digest selection of facts on the child support process. This section addresses remarriages and claiming children as dependents for tax purposes.

Claiming Children as Dependents for Tax

There are various complex issues that can come into play when a marriage ends. The duty of the courts of New York is to champion the best interests of the children in any changes that may occur after a divorce. Working with a child custody lawyer can assist you in achieving the best outcomes for your family.

  • One common issue that arises in case of child support, involves deciding which parent should be allowed to claim a child as a dependent for tax purposes. This process can save today’s parents some significant money, but only one parent can claim a child in a given year. Custodial parents sometimes waive the rights to these deductions, to help the paying parent with the higher income reduce their costs.
  • The IRS states that parties with multiple children involved in a divorce case can decide together how they may want to split their claiming credits for each child. When decisions can’t be made amicably with the help of a mediator like Mr Shapiro, and other experts, determinations on how to split credits will be made by the courts.
  • When the court needs to decide which parent should be able to claim a child as a dependent, they will often award the right to the custodial parent. This may not always be the case, however, particularly if the couples agreed on something different when drafting a separation agreement. If a written declaration does not exist to give a parent rights to claim a child, tie-breaker rules are in place to determine who should be able to claim a child in cases of joint custody. Usually, the child who looks after the child the longest can make the claim.
  • With the right guidance and support, it is possible for a couple to come to an agreement about claiming dependents that minimizes the tax burdens of both parties.
Child Support and Parent Remarriages

When a marriage ends in New York, there’s a chance that the parties involved may decide to marry again in the future with a new spouse. This can be a wonderful thing for the divorced party, but it does raise some questions about things like spousal and child support.

  • The family court act in New York asks the court to consider various factors when determining how to award child support to a parent. The formula addresses things like parental income, unique expenses required to look after a child, and more. Courts can also make orders that differ from the amounts suggested by the guidelines when they deem it necessary.
  • When a parent marries another person after a divorce, this could be deemed a significant change in circumstances from the courts. It is possible to change orders for child and spousal support when a significant change in circumstances take place. However, the courts usually do not regard stepparents as parents who should pay child support.
  • There are cases where a stepparent may become a more essential consideration in a child support award. If a new spouse and the parent of the child applicable to the support order have a child, and the household resources available for that child are lower than they are for the older child, the courts may deviate from the guidelines.
  • Courts may sometimes impute income to parties in a child support case, which means they consider additional income when deciding the support amount. For instance, if the new partner pays for many expenses for the spouse responsible for child support, this could be a reason to impute income. However, courts don’t always consider a spouse’s income in cases regarding child support.
  • Courts have the ability to consider anything they deem relevant when creating a support order to address the best interests of the children or child. Having the right strategy in place for your child support case will be essential to ensuring you protect yourself, and your family.

If you have any concerns about the issues addressed in this part of the support guide, Mr. Shapiro is available to discuss your case with you during a free initial consultation. The free discussion lasts up to 30 minutes and can be arranged via the contact form on this website, or over the phone at (516) 333-6555.

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