I received an update on a previous Q & A post: Q & A Should Step-Mom & Husband Take His Ex to Court?
An update on our court situation.
I think the best thing we have learned is that we don’t make good decisions when we are emotionally charged, and we’ve accepted there are some situations which we a nearly incapable of being emotionally detached from. My husband and I agreed that we did NOT want to drag his ex into court, but wanted to stop protecting her from the state, and needed legal advice to see if that one was truly possible without the other.
We went back to the lawyer we used the last time we were in court and she basically agreed with us that it would be best to avoid court if we can and just put this whole matter in the hands of the state. The step that needed to be taken was for my husband to go fill out the necessary paperwork at the child support probate division; this would put the ex’s social security number in a nationwide database that is connected with the IRS.
Here’s what turned out to be valuable: having the lawyer come with him to fill out that paperwork. She was not necessary; he could have done it himself. But she does have a good working relationship with a couple of supervisors down there and she’s efficient. It’s one of the most depressing places he’s ever been in his life, and she was a good person to have by his side. She even charged just for actual time spent there, rather than adding in travel time or rounding up.
I felt like both of us admitting that this was emotionally charged for us, and agreeing to go with what the professional advised, really helped this to not turn into a giant argument or a lingering resentment. The truth is that we may never see a dime, and even if we do, it will most likely be directly applied to our own back taxes (and that would be just fine with me!). But feeling like we’re not operating out of fear anymore is worth it. I also feel like I’ve been heard.
We also sought professional advice from our tax accountant. Given our income and the number of children we have, it turns out one dependent won’t change our return. What we didn’t know is that the burden of proof is actually on the ex. If she is now entitled to claim the dependent, based on the terms of the decree and her current income, there is a specific tax form she has to fill out – and my husband has to sign it.
I would tell anyone going through anything similar is that the best thing you can do is seek the advice of good professionals.
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Trish Eklund is taking a nontraditional approach to parenting children after divorce and remarriage. Raising her two daughters of ten and fourteen with her husband, ex-husband, and his wife, they consult one another on all parenting decisions. Trish has been featured on www.playground-magazine.com, and www.bigblendedfamily.com. She is a regular writer on www.herviewfromhome.com, writer and co-editor for Her View From Omaha. Follow her on Twitter: @trishiewriter, Google +, and Pinterest.