VICKIE LYNN COCHRAN attorney at law
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Why it is important to resolve Child Tax Credit disputes

One of the difficulties in dealing with child custody disputes is determining what to do with the Child Tax Credit that a parent can claim each year. The primary problem is deciding who may be eligible to claim the credit. On the one hand, the custodial parent will want to claim it because the child is spending a majority of his or her time with this parent. On the other hand, the non-custodial parent may want to claim it, since this parent is primarily responsible for paying child support all year, so the credit may act as an extra payment that will not be drawn from their income.

Of course, problems occur when parents are awarded joint physical custody of child (meaning that the child spends the same amount of time with each parent). Basically, both parents may feel entitled to the credit. In these instances, it is helpful for parents to reach an accord. 

Perhaps alternating the use of the credit may be the answer. Essentially one parent can claim the credit on even years, and the other parent may use it on odd years. Also, the parties could agree to split the refund that comes with the credit (although this may be difficult given the different returns that must be filed). The point is that there are ways to resolve the Child Tax Credit problem, and an experienced family law attorney can help parties reach an agreement in this regard. After all, reaching an agreement is generally cheaper than litigation.

Source:, “ 7 tax mistakes you don’t know you’re making, “ Jan. 17, 2014; – Ten Facts about the Child Tax Credit, Feb. 10, 2011

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