Board Certified Family Law Specialist Matt Arnold of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question ” Is there some property that the judge cannot divide?”
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This quarter, we discuss how the Internal Revenue Service has spotted a huge gap between alimony deductions claimed and the amount of alimony income received by those entitled to it. In general, people who are ordered to pay alimony to a spouse or ex-spouse can claim and receive a tax deduction. The government report suggests that either people paying alimony are exaggerating the amounts they paid or people receiving alimony are underreporting that income, or both. Deductions exceeded reported alimony income by some $2 billion.
The IRS has announced that it is changing the way it selects tax returns for audits in order to catch more suspicious returns involving alimony. What does this mean for you? It means that when reporting income or claiming deductions related to alimony, you need to be precise. If you have questions regarding how much alimony you should be reporting or the amount of deductions to which you are entitled, you should speak to a family law attorney to make sure you are handling these issues correctly.
Also in this issue of our family law newsletter, we explore how the issue of student-loan debt can complicate divorce settlements. In general, marital debts are divided equally, but many spouses incurred student-loan debt before they married, making it separate debt. Some common issues complicate the division of student-loan debt in divorces, such as whether both spouses contributed to paying off portions of the debt during the marriage, which spouse benefited from the spouse’s degree during the marriage, whether the loans were consolidated and which spouse can afford repaying the debt.
In our Family Law Briefs, we discuss how a Pennsylvania mother who turned her children against their father ended up losing her custody rights. A judge ruled that the mother’s behavior psychologically damaged the children. We also discuss how working the night shift may affect a parent’s custody rights and whether proceeds from so-called “wrongful death” claims can be used for child-support payments.
Finally, we look at the headline-grabbing child-support case brought by rapper T.I.’s former girlfriend, Lashon Dixon, who claimed she needed $5,000 per month instead of the $2,000 T.I. had been ordered to pay for their two sons. T.I.—whose real name is Clifford Harris—objected to the increase, arguing that Dixon was misusing the payments. He argued that Dixon was living off of the child-support money instead of using it for the benefit of their sons. He demanded an accounting of exactly how the money would be spent if Dixon received the requested increase.
While disputes over the amount of child-support payments are common, whether a parent can be forced to account for how child-support payments are spent is dependent upon the jurisdiction in which a case is brought and upon the unique circumstances of a case.
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If you find yourself facing a complicated family law matter, then you need the help of experienced family law attorneys in Charlotte, North Carolina who can help guide you through the often confusing process of divorce. Please contact Arnold & Smith, PLLC today at (704) 370-2828 or find additional resources here.
About the Author
Mr. Arnold was raised in Charlotte, where he graduated from Providence Senior High School. He attended Belmont Abbey College, where he graduated cum laude, before attending law school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on a full academic scholarship.
In his free time, Mr. Arnold enjoys golfing and spending time with his wife and three children.
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