Which Parent Claims Their Child As An Exemption On Federal Tax Returns?

When parents divorce or were never married, the general rule is that the custodial parent (whichever parent has more overnights during a calendar year) claims the child as an exemption on his/her tax return.  The other parent is the noncustodial parent.  If the child was with each parent for an equal number of nights, the custodial parent […]

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The Mediation Process

Any time that a Dissolution of Marriage or Paternity matter is filed with the Court and there are pending child custody and/or child visitation orders, a Family Court Services Mediation appointment is mandatory.  A mediation appointment is an appointment between both parents together and a Family Court Services Mediator only.  Attorneys for either party, or any other […]

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What Constitutes Annulment?

Annulment is likely one of the most misunderstood areas of Family Law. Having worked as a Family Law Paralegal for more than four decades, I find that most people have a false belief of what constitutes annulment. Most believe a short-term marriage, i.e., months long, qualifies them for annulment. Not true. Such a short-term marriage […]

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Dividing Support Order Divorce

Dividing a Support Order in Divorce

Filing a Paternity matter serves the best interests of both parents and the minor child(ren). Court-ordered child custody and visitation orders can be entered, as well as child support orders. Without formal custody, visitation and support orders entered through the court, each parent has the absolute right to insist that the minor child(ren) remain in […]

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Support Orders involving Fluctuating or Bonus Income Ostler/Smith Order.

When the payor spouse receives fluctuating bonuses, a support order must be carefully drafted.  Let’s take a look at a relatively common situation in support order cases. Husband is the high income earner and receives a base salary plus bonus or commission pay which fluctuates based on performance.  This is commonly addressed using a percentage […]

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