Divorce and Taxes: Can You Benefit From The Dependent Tax Exemption?

Tax time is upon us once again. For divorced or single parents, this time of year is often made more stressful due to uncertainty regarding tax exemptions and whether one parent can or should claim the child or children this year (in many cases, Courts order parents to alternate the years that they can claim the tax dependency exemption for each child). Your Dayton family lawyer can help you navigate through these challenges, and can often offer practical solutions that may not have been considered.

For example, in cases where one parent earns a low income, that parent may simply get no benefit from claiming the tax exemption. This is because parents, who are also allowed to exempt income based on their filing status as either married or head of household, as well as for themselves and a spouse (if applicable), must have income in excess of the sum of those other exemption amounts to also benefit from the dependent exemption. For example, in 2012, married couples can exempt $19,500 from taxation as a result of their own personal exemption (2 x $3,800) and the standard deduction ($11,900); single parents can exempt $12,500 before accounting for the dependent exemption ($3,800 + $8,700). Families with incomes below these threshold amounts receive no benefit from the dependent exemption because their total taxable income can be reduced to zero without applying the dependent exemption for any children in the household (the benefit from the dependent exemption cannot exceed tax liability). In cases where no benefit can be derived from the dependent exemption, it may be advisable to allow the parent who can take advantage of the exemption, to do so, especially if there is something offered in return. Dependency exemptions are not related to the child care tax credit or earned income credit. Therefore, even if the custodial parent choses to allow the other parent to claim the child for the dependency tax exemption, he or she could still use the child care credit and earned income credit. As with all tax issues, please consult a tax professional for advice regarding your specific situation, and for guidance on how to file your taxes (for example, it is important to file IRS Form 8332 (http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f8332.pdf) should the custodial parent opt to allow the other parent to use the dependency exemption).

For more information about Ohio divorce, and/or to schedule a free consultation please contact your Dayton divorce law firm at Baldwin Valley & Wallace LLC today by clicking on the preceding link, by e-mail to mailbox@bvw-law.com or by telephone to (937) 436-0699.

The contents contained in Baldwin Valley & Wallace LLC’s Blog and Web Page(s) are for educational and informational purposes only, and shall not be construed as legal or tax advice. The reading of Baldwin Valley & Wallace LLC’s Blog or Webpage does not create an attorney/client relationship with Baldwin Valley & Wallace LLC. Please consult an Attorney in your jurisdiction (where you live or where the legal action arose) if you are seeking legal advice or representation. Please further be advised that Baldwin Valley & Wallace LLC is a debt relief agency and helps people file for bankruptcy relief under the United States Bankruptcy Code.

How to Get Reimbursed for Medical Expenses Under a Domestic Relations Decree

Many divorces or dissolutions provide that medical, dental, optical and psychological expenses are to be shared by the parents after the first $100 per child per year is spent (the first $100 is generally the responsibility of the residential parent). Sometimes parties are less than cooperative with each other, and a person may have difficulty getting reimbursement for expenses from their co-parent.

In order to seek redress from the Court under this scenario, a parent must be able to demonstrate that a proper claim for reimbursement (or demand for payment) was made to the person from whom reimbursement is sought. The claim or demand should include an itemization of expenses, and a breakdown of the responsible person’s share of the expense. The Montgomery County Ohio Domestic Relations Court has a form that must be submitted to the responsible parent for reimbursement of medical expenses, along with copies of all bills, receipts and insurance company explanation of benefit forms. It is very important that a copy of the claim form, along with all the afore-mentioned attachments, is kept by the parent submitting the claim. It is also important that the claim or demand is submitted to the person from whom reimbursement is sought by a verifiable method (i.e., certified mail).

If reimbursement is not obtained after submitting a claim as described above, your Dayton divorce lawyer can file a motion for contempt with the Court.

For more information about enforcing Ohio divorce or dissolution decrees, and/or to schedule a free consultation with an experienced attorney, please contact your Dayton divorce law firm or a Dayton family lawyer, at Baldwin Valley & Wallace LLC today by clicking on the preceding link, by e-mail to mailbox@bvw-law.com or by telephone to (937) 436-0699.

The contents contained in Baldwin Valley & Wallace LLC’s Blog and Web Page(s) are for educational and informational purposes only, and shall not be construed as legal advice. The reading of Baldwin Valley & Wallace LLC’s Blog or Webpage does not create an attorney/client relationship with Baldwin Valley & Wallace LLC. Please consult an Attorney in your jurisdiction (where you live or where the legal action arose) if you are seeking legal advice or representation. Please further be advised that Baldwin Valley & Wallace LLC is a debt relief agency and helps people file for bankruptcy relief under the United States Bankruptcy Code.

Tax Refunds and Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

If you are thinking about filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy and also expecting a tax refund, please contact an experienced Dayton bankruptcy attorney! There are many important things to consider. When a person files for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, all of their assets, including their tax refund, become part of the bankruptcy estate. The theory behind Chapter 7 bankruptcy is that the trustee, the attorney appointed to administer the bankruptcy estate, can use a person’s assets (unless exempted or protected as discussed below) to pay off unsecured creditors.

If you file bankruptcy before receiving and spending your tax refund for the year, the unspent refund is considered part of the estate. The tax refund is looked at as money that was unnecessarily paid to the IRS, therefore it is treated like cash or money in a bank account. If you receive a significant refund every year, you may consider adjusting your withholding to reduce the refund to a lesser amount. This will allow you to get more money in each paycheck and make the refund too small to be of value to the trustee.
 
Planning the timing of your bankruptcy with the receipt of your tax refund is advisable. If you have already received your refund, you are allowed to spend it on necessary expenses prior to filing bankruptcy. Necessary expenses include mortgage payments, rent, home or motor vehicle repair, food, clothing, utilities, medical expenses, etc. However, be careful! Do not use the refund to purchase luxury goods, or to pay a friend or family member, or to pay one particular creditor (this may be a preferential payment – a payment made to one creditor and not others. Preferential payments can be avoided, meaning the trustee can order the creditor to return it to the estate).

Even if you file bankruptcy prior to receiving and/or spending your tax refund for the year, therefore making the tax refund part of the estate as discussed above, you may be able to exempt or protect it. The bankruptcy code (or law), provides exemptions for certain property including some that can protect your refund (to learn more about Ohio exemptions, please see our earlier blog: http://www.bvw-law.com/blog/uncategorized/dayton-bankruptcy-attorney-exempt-property-in-ohio/) For example, the earned income and child tax credits allow many people who file Chapter 7 to keep their entire refund. The wildcard and cash on hand exemptions may also be used to protect some or all of your refund.

If you are expecting a tax refund and also considering bankruptcy, please consult with an experienced Dayton bankruptcy attorney who can analyze your particular situation and help you determine both the best use of your refund and the best time to file bankruptcy. Please contact Baldwin Valley & Wallace LLC today by clicking on the preceding link, by e-mail to mailbox@bvw-law.com or by telephone to (937) 436-0699.

The contents contained in Baldwin Valley & Wallace LLC’s Blog and Web Page(s) are for educational and informational purposes only, and shall not be construed as legal advice. The reading of Baldwin Valley & Wallace LLC’s Blog or Webpage does not create an attorney/client relationship with Baldwin Valley & Wallace LLC. Please consult an Attorney in your jurisdiction (where you live or where the legal action arose) if you are seeking legal advice or representation. Please further be advised that Baldwin Valley & Wallace LLC is a debt relief agency and helps people file for bankruptcy relief under the United States Bankruptcy Code.

How Often Can A Person File for Bankruptcy?

Sometimes people who have filed for bankruptcy protection in the past can find themselves in situation where it would be to their benefit to file for bankruptcy again.  For example, a person may have recently received a Chapter 7 discharge, but then incurred a tax debt that could be paid back through a Chapter 13 bankruptcy plan.

The general rule is that a Chapter 7 bankruptcy debtor who receives a discharge cannot receive another Chapter 7 bankruptcy discharge for 8 years.  However, there are important exceptions to this general rule.  In order to properly analyze your particular situation, you need to consult with an experienced Dayton bankruptcy attorney.

However, generally speaking, the Federal Bankruptcy Rules allow the following:

If it has been 8 years since a person received a discharge in any sort of bankruptcy case, he or she is free to file again for bankruptcy under any chapter (7, 11, 12 or 13).

If a person has received a chapter 7 discharge in a case filed within 8 years, then he or she cannot receive a discharge in a subsequent Chapter 7 Bankruptcy filed today.  However, he or she could still file and receive bankruptcy protection.  For example, that person could file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, and would be eligible for a discharge if 4 years had past since the filing of the discharged Chapter 7 case.  If 4 years had not yet passed, the person could file the Chapter 13, repay debt in the Chapter 13 plan, but would not be eligible for a discharge.

A person who filed a Chapter 13 and received a discharge, could file and receive a discharge in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy once 6 years has passed since the Chapter 13 filing.  That person could file another Chapter 13 case, and receive a discharge, 2 years after the first Chapter 13 was filed (but again, that person could file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy protection before 2 years has passed, they would just not be eligible for a discharge).

To schedule a free consultation with an experienced Dayton bankruptcy attorney, please contact Baldwin Valley & Wallace LLC today by clicking on the preceding link, by e-mail to mailbox@bvw-law.com or by telephone to (937) 436-0699.

The contents contained in Baldwin Valley & Wallace LLC’s Blog and Web Page(s) are for educational and informational purposes only, and shall not be construed as legal advice. The reading of Baldwin Valley & Wallace LLC’s Blog or Webpage does not create an attorney/client relationship with Baldwin Valley & Wallace LLC. Please consult an Attorney in your jurisdiction (where you live or where the legal action arose) if you are seeking legal advice or representation. Please further be advised that Baldwin Valley & Wallace LLC is a debt relief agency and helps people file for bankruptcy relief under the United States Bankruptcy Code.

Accessing a Foster Child’s School Records Easier With Passage of New Federal Bill

A law signed last week by President Barack Obama is designed to clear some educational roadblocks for foster kids, whose school records are often not accessible to child-welfare workers. Parents do not lose parental or educational rights to their child or children if a children services agency only has temporary custody of a child. In the past, this often meant that parental consent was needed in order for a child-welfare worker to take action to access a foster child’s school records. Obtaining parental consent, or a court order to proceed without parental consent, is often difficult, and time-consuming and contributes and compounds school transition difficulties for foster children.

The Uninterrupted Scholars Act gives agencies access to the records by creating an exception for child-welfare workers in the Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, which is known as FERPA. That means child-welfare workers won’t necessarily have to obtain parental consent or wait for court orders to act on school matters.

Please click below to read the Uninterrupted Scholars Act:

http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/112/s3472/text

To learn more, please see the below article in the Columbus Dispatch:

http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2013/01/22/foster-kids-to-get-school-help.html

To schedule a free consultation to discuss child custody with a Dayton child custody attorney or a Dayton family lawyer, contact Baldwin Valley & Wallace LLC today by clicking on the preceding link, by e-mail to mailbox@bvw-law.com or by telephone to (937) 436-0699.

The contents contained in Baldwin Valley & Wallace LLC’s Blog and Web Page(s) are for educational and informational purposes only, and shall not be construed as legal advice. The reading of Baldwin Valley & Wallace LLC’s Blog or Webpage does not create an attorney/client relationship with Baldwin Valley & Wallace LLC. Please consult an Attorney in your jurisdiction (where you live or where the legal action arose) if you are seeking legal advice or representation. Please further be advised that Baldwin Valley & Wallace LLC is a debt relief agency and helps people file for bankruptcy relief under the United States Bankruptcy Code.

What Information and Documents Are Disclosed in a Divorce?

During divorce litigation, the parties exchange information with each other. Some of this information is provided through affidavits submitted to the Court with a party’s initial filing. These affidavits disclose income, assets and debts. Additional documents and information can be requested by your Dayton divorce lawyer through the discovery process, either through a request for production of documents, or through interrogatories (written questions that require a party to provide written answers under oath). Some Courts, such as the Montgomery County Domestic Relations Court , require that parties affirmatively disclose certain information and documents without a formal discovery request. The documents and information that are routinely disclosed include the following: pension and profit-sharing plans, COBRA benefits, copies of real estate deeds, copies of the title and registration to all motor vehicles, appraisals of real estate or personal property or business property in which the party holds an interest, copies of the last three years of tax returns, proof of income from all sources, and copies of the most recent statements on all bank accounts, IRA’s, stock accounts, mortgages, credit card accounts, and other debts.

For more information about divorce litigation, and/or to schedule a free consultation please contact your Dayton divorce law firm or a Dayton family lawyer, at Baldwin Valley & Wallace LLC today by clicking on the preceding link, by e-mail to mailbox@bvw-law.com or by telephone to (937) 436-0699.

The contents contained in Baldwin Valley & Wallace LLC’s Blog and Web Page(s) are for educational and informational purposes only, and shall not be construed as legal advice. The reading of Baldwin Valley & Wallace LLC’s Blog or Webpage does not create an attorney/client relationship with Baldwin Valley & Wallace LLC. Please consult an Attorney in your jurisdiction (where you live or where the legal action arose) if you are seeking legal advice or representation. Please further be advised that Baldwin Valley & Wallace LLC is a debt relief agency and helps people file for bankruptcy relief under the United States Bankruptcy Code.

How and When Ohio Courts Can Impute Income for an Unemployed or Underemployed Parent for Purposes of Calculating Child Support

In Ohio, Courts can impute (assign) income to a parent for purposes of calculating child support if the Court finds the parent is voluntarily unemployed or underemployed. Your Dayton family lawyer can help you establish in a court hearing that a parent is voluntarily unemployed or underemployed. In deciding if an individual is voluntarily underemployed or unemployed, the court must determine if the change was voluntary (meaning unemployment or underemployment was of the parent’s own will, or without compulsion), and also if it was made with due regard to the obligor’s income producing abilities and his duty to provide for the continuing needs of the child (or children). See Woloch v. Foster (1994), 98 Ohio App. 39, 86; Rock v. Cabral (1993), 67 Ohio St. 3d 108 (finding that a mother, who had a degree in accounting, was voluntarily underemployed as a weaver and imputing an income of $14,000 that she could have earned if she worked as an accountant).

Once you have established that the parent is voluntarily unemployed or underemployed, then the Court can determine how much income to impute (or assign) to him or her for purposes of determining how much child support he or she must pay. O.R.C. 3119.01(C)(5) defines income for purposes of calculating child support for a parent who is unemployed or underemployed as the sum of the gross income of the parent and any potential income of the parent. Potential income, under O.R.C. 3119.01 (C)(11) means the following for a parent who the Court has determined in voluntarily unemployed or underemployed: Imputed income that the Court determines the parent would have earned if fully employed as determined from the following criteria: Prior employment experience; Education; Physical or mental disabilities, if any; Availability of employment in the geographic area where parent resides; Prevailing wage and salary levels in geographic area; Special skills and training; Evidence the parent has ability to earn imputed income; Age and special needs of child whom support is being calculated for; Parents increased earning capacity because of experience; Any other relevant factor, and any imputed income from an non-income producing assets of parent.

For more information about Ohio child support, and/or to schedule a free consultation please contact your Dayton divorce law firm or a Dayton divorce lawyer, at Baldwin Valley & Wallace LLC today by clicking on the preceding link, by e-mail to mailbox@bvw-law.com or by telephone to (937) 436-0699.

The contents contained in Baldwin Valley & Wallace LLC’s Blog and Web Page(s) are for educational and informational purposes only, and shall not be construed as legal advice. The reading of Baldwin Valley & Wallace LLC’s Blog or Webpage does not create an attorney/client relationship with Baldwin Valley & Wallace LLC. Please consult an Attorney in your jurisdiction (where you live or where the legal action arose) if you are seeking legal advice or representation. Please further be advised that Baldwin Valley & Wallace LLC is a debt relief agency and helps people file for bankruptcy relief under the United States Bankruptcy Code.

Bank of America Settles Bad Mortgage Claims for over $10 Billion

Your Dayton bankruptcy attorney is pleased to report that Bank of America has agreed to pay the federal government more than 10 billion dollars to resolve claims stemming from bad mortgages (risky mortgages that were incurred questionably by Bank of America and then later packaged and sold by Bank of America to Fannie Mae). Please click on the link below to an informative article in The New York Times to learn more:

http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2013/01/07/bank-of-america-to-pay-10-billion-in-settlement-with-fannie-mae

To learn more about past or present foreclosures, mortgage debt forgivenss, loan modifications, and/or to schedule a free consultation with an experienced Dayton bankruptcy attorney, please contact Baldwin Valley & Wallace LLC today by clicking on the preceding link, by e-mail to mailbox@bvw-law.com or by telephone to (937) 436-0699.

The contents contained in Baldwin Valley & Wallace LLC’s Blog and Web Page(s) are for educational and informational purposes only, and shall not be construed as legal advice. The reading of Baldwin Valley & Wallace LLC’s Blog or Webpage does not create an attorney/client relationship with Baldwin Valley & Wallace LLC. Please consult an Attorney in your jurisdiction (where you live or where the legal action arose) if you are seeking legal advice or representation. Please further be advised that Baldwin Valley & Wallace LLC is a debt relief agency and helps people file for bankruptcy relief under the United States Bankruptcy Code.
Baldwin Valley & Wallace LLC is a debt relief agency and helps people file for bankruptcy relief under the United States Bankruptcy Code.

Parenting Through Divorce

Your Dayton divorce law firm is pleased to announce that the Supreme Court of Ohio has published an helpful guide entitled “Planning for Parenting Time – Ohio’s Guide for Parents Living Apart”. The guide provides sample schedules and recommendations for parenting time with children at each age and developmental stage. There is also a section that addresses special issues, including but not limited to re-location, blended families, how to handle a situation where a child does not want to spend time with a parent, and long distance parenting. Below is a link to the guide:

http://www.supremecourt.ohio.gov/Publications/JCS/parentingGuide.pdf

For more information about parenting issues in a divorce, and/or to schedule a free consultation please contact your Dayton divorce law firm or a Dayton family lawyer, at Baldwin Valley & Wallace LLC today by clicking on the preceding link, by e-mail to mailbox@bvw-law.com or by telephone to (937) 436-0699.

The contents contained in Baldwin Valley & Wallace LLC’s Blog and Web Page(s) are for educational and informational purposes only, and shall not be construed as legal advice. The reading of Baldwin Valley & Wallace LLC’s Blog or Webpage does not create an attorney/client relationship with Baldwin Valley & Wallace LLC. Please consult an Attorney in your jurisdiction (where you live or where the legal action arose) if you are seeking legal advice or representation. Please further be advised that Baldwin Valley & Wallace LLC is a debt relief agency and helps people file for bankruptcy relief under the United States Bankruptcy Code.

Things To Do and Not to Do When Contemplating Bankruptcy

It is very important to do and not to do certain things when preparing to file bankruptcy. Your Dayton bankruptcy attorney can give you a comprehensive list of do’s and don’ts similar to the one below. If you wonder if something is appropriate to do before bankruptcy – CONSULT YOUR ATTORNEY BEFORE DOING IT!

Things Not to Do When Contemplating Bankruptcy

1) Don’t pay off or pay down any debts without consulting your Dayton bankruptcy attorney. 2) Don’t buy, sell, give away or transfer any property. 3) Don’t fall for companies or individuals promising debt consolidation without extensively researching their legitimacy. There are many fraudulent, criminal enterprises out there that will take your money and never pay down your debt. 4) Don’t borrow or cash out your retirement without first talking to your Dayton bankruptcy attorney. In Ohio, most retirement/pension accounts are 100% exempt (meaning they are completely protected) in bankruptcy. This means that a person may file bankruptcy, emerge after a successful discharge without any unsecured debt but with their full retirement account(s) intact. 5) Don’t take out new loans or create new debts prior to filing bankruptcy. 6) Don’t wait until the last minute to talk to your Dayton bankruptcy attorney about bankruptcy. Having time to plan and properly prepare a bankruptcy is the best case scenario.

Things To Do When Preparing to File Bankruptcy

1) Do tell your Dayton bankruptcy attorney about ALL of your debts and creditors. Often clients think that leaving out one credit card to use after bankruptcy for emergencies will be ok, but this can often lead to problems. Tell your Dayton bankruptcy attorney about absolutely every creditor and together you can decide what is the best course of action in your situation. 2) Do keep in contact with your Dayton bankruptcy attorney. Bankruptcy is a process which can take 4 – 6 months. It is important that your Dayton bankruptcy attorney can reach you when needed. If you change your phone number or address, be sure to inform your attorney. 3) Do tell your Dayton bankruptcy attorney your complete story (including but not limited to all your assets and, as discussed above, all of your debts) in order to help you make the best legal decisions for your particular situation. 4) Do consult with your Dayton bankruptcy attorney to learn whether bankruptcy is a good option for you.

To schedule a free consultation with an experienced Dayton bankruptcy attorney, please contact Baldwin Valley & Wallace LLC today by clicking on the preceding link, by e-mail to mailbox@bvw-law.com or by telephone to (937) 436-0699.

The contents contained in Baldwin Valley & Wallace LLC’s Blog and Web Page(s) are for educational and informational purposes only, and shall not be construed as legal advice. The reading of Baldwin Valley & Wallace LLC’s Blog or Webpage does not create an attorney/client relationship with Baldwin Valley & Wallace LLC. Please consult an Attorney in your jurisdiction (where you live or where the legal action arose) if you are seeking legal advice or representation. Please further be advised that Baldwin Valley & Wallace LLC is a debt relief agency and helps people file for bankruptcy relief under the United States Bankruptcy Code.