The manner in which you ask the questions, suggests that you seek to obtain damages of some sort from your ex. This may not be possible. I will address your questions specifically below. You asked:
Is it worth pursuing Baby Jane Doe's SSN? The court directed us to file "married filing jointly" for 2012. Does this not include Baby Jane Doe?
A: Ohio case law holds that a court has authority to order divorcing spouses to file a tax return as either joint or separate (BOWEN v. BOWEN, 132 Ohio App.3d 616 (1999)). The federal courts
, however, have never concluded on this issue, so it is arguable that your court order may not actually be enforceable on this issue. That said, whether or not the child should have been your exemption
during year 2012, based upon the facts as they existed at the time, there is no clear federal tax law interpreting the issue. On balance, I believe that you would prevail, because at the time, you were the presumed parent.
However, the question is whether or not this is worth fighting over. You could spend a small fortune fighting in court, because of the uncertainty. And, it could take several years if the issue goes to an appellate
court. So, be careful what you wish for...as the old saying goes.
Isn't my ex and her new hubby committing fraud? Is it worth pursuing?
A: Because of the uncertainty in the law, fraud is an unlikely outcome, because it's not entirely clear what you or the other parent's rights are. However, the issue is really one for the IRS. You can file a Form 3949-A
, and let the IRS decide.
The court also "suspended a decision"" of holding my ex liable for my expenses in getting her to court the LAST time (for 2011 tax filing). Should this be pursued?
A: If you mean that the court has never issued a final ruling on an issue in a prior motion hearing, then you're entitled to a decision. You could write to the court and copy the other parent, and request a final ruling on the issue.
Is there a legal advantage in pursuing this? Or just file without Baby Jane Doe's SSN and let it go?
A: The expense of pursuing this in family court is, in my opinion, not worth the effort. But, since you already have another similar prior issue on the suspended decision, maybe it is worth pursuing -- since, you might be able to get both decisions dealt with simultaneously. But, to do that, you would need to bring a new motion for enforcement/contempt, to force your ex to comply with the existing orders.
Hope this helps.