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Legal Questions about Head of Family

Filing as “head of family” can have benefits for tax payers in the United States. Yet federal and state governments lay down certain rules that need to be followed to qualify as being head of family. These laws can often lead to questions like the ones below that have been answered by Experts.

I am the head of my family. When I become senile, who do I delegate my responsibilities to?

What you could do now is to appoint a Power Of Attorney (PoA) and clearly mention that it will not come into effect until the day you become mentally incapacitated. All the powers you now hold will be delegated, including the authority to manage, sell, and encumber real estate. In addition, you can empower the person to make medical decisions on your behalf when you have reached a state of being incapacitated. Finally, it would be best for you to also make out a will that spells out the division or management of your property after your death.

I live in Nebraska and rented from a landlord a year ago. He thinks I owe him $3K but I never got a court date so I could explain why I don’t owe him the money. Now I want to know if my wages can be garnished from my salary and my account be frozen if I am head of family.

To begin with, usually 15% of the debtor’s disposable (after tax usually) earnings is the maximum garnishment possible for the "head of family."

According to the state of Nebraska Department of Labor, the definition of "head of family" is:
“an individual who actually supports and maintains one or more individuals who are closely connected with him or her by blood relationship, relationship by marriage, by adoption, or by guardianship, and whose right to exercise family control and provide for the dependent individuals is based upon some moral or legal obligation.”

To read more about this and better understand wage garnishment laws in Nebraska, you can visit this link: http://nlc1.nlc.state.ne.us/epubs/L1500/Q023-2005.pdf

To answer your question, when you freeze a bank account, all the money in it can be seized based on the court judgment if your account is not exempt from execution. In case of “dispute” or “legal issues,” banks sometimes freeze accounts because they like to exercise caution. But they can be forced to “un-freeze” the money beyond the dollar value of the writ of execution.

I am based in Missouri and make about $72,000 a year. I wrecked a vehicle in a car accident about a decade ago and 25% is being taken out of my weekly check for this. I still need to pay off a little over $13,000 and added to that, there’s rent, insurance payments and student loans. I also have a baby coming and plan to get married soon. Can I file for head of family and totally stop or at least reduce my garnishment?

Since you are not anywhere near the poverty line and are in the high income bracket, the courts would be able to legally pursue you for the funds owed by you. Hence, your petition may not be accepted. As this is a 10 year old judgment, the courts may not also agree to lower the amount. You could try and file “pro se” for a hearing before a judge by getting the forms from your local law library. But you need to file at the same court that issued the garnishment in the first place. The surest way, however, of getting totally rid of the judgment is via a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

You could also try filing for “head of family” but you would need to prove that your family is really dependent on you. So if you can argue that the garnishment is causing a huge problem for you to care for your children and you can’t fulfill their needs, then the courts may understand and adjust payments.

There are many misconceptions with regard to how an individual can file for being “head of family.” When you have legal questions, it is best to seek legal insight from Experts.

Ask a Family Lawyer

Ely
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: General
Satisfied Customers: 9263
Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
7286322
Type Your Family Law Question Here...
characters left:
9 Family Lawyers are Online Now

How JustAnswer Works:

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Family Lawyers are online & ready to help you now

Ely
Counselor at Law
Satisfied Customers: 8085
Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
LawTalk
Attorney and Counselor at Law
Satisfied Customers: 6424
27+ years legal experience. I remain current in Family Law through regular continuing education.
FiveStarLaw
Lawyer
Satisfied Customers: 6336
25 years of experience helping people like you.

Recent Head of Family Questions

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    Hello,
    I have two questions about real estate foreclosure and divorce. I live in california, and our home foreclosure was started prior to divorce in early 2012. we decided to file for bankruptcy to protect ourselves from the bank and back irs taxes and put a deposit down with a lawyer. we attempted to do a loan modification on the home, but shortly after that we decided to split. the "plan" was to divorce and then separately file for BK. he left the home and i stayed, with the bank having the home on the auction block every month only to postpone it another 30 days at the last minute. in early 2013 the bank stopped listing the home for auction, while we were hammering out the details of our divorce. during the modification process,, the bank had me have my husband sign a quit claim deed to me (notarized) but i never filed it with the county (still have it though) In the divorce papers, we both agreed to give the home (asset and debt) to me and split the IRS bill 50/50 as we agreed to file BK (this irs bill was dischargable in BK) the divorce was final in 8/13 and the same week i received a notice from the back that they sold the mortgage to another bank, even though they promised me i could file change of circumstances and try to modify by myself once the divorce was final. I spoke to the new bank, and it seemed that a modification still would not be something i could afford on m y own, but they have yet to start foreclosure. I filed bankruptcy (discharged 9/14 including both the mortgage and IRS), as agreed, but he decided not to. I was told to stay in the house to protect it from vandals and squatters, since it is still legally in our names.
    My first question is in regards ***** ***** IRS bill. I no longer owe money to the IRS, but they are collecting it from him, again he refuses to file bankruptcy, and he expects me to pay him back for my "half" of the bill. In anticipation of this, my BK lawyer had me list him in my BK as a potential debt as he had not yet started paying my "half". He also owes me nearly the same amount of money for not paying me for his car payments, insurance and child support during the divorce. I have a written and signed agreement from him to pay these things (prior to him stopping paying for them) during the divorce I stopped asking for the money in order to get him to finally sign a divorce agreement. that debt was not addressed in the divorce agreement. if he tries to collect the irs debt from me, can i counter with the back pay agreement debt, basically calling it even?
    Second question, is there any way that he can charge me "rent" or "back rent" for living in the house during the foreclosure process? since i filed BK, i do not have any financial responsibility to the mortgage, but his name is ***** ***** the mortgage and deed. we both want the foreclosure process done quickly, but the bank is dragging their feet.
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    M
  • I as have no money to retain an attorney. My 7 year old daughter

    I as have no money to retain an attorney. My 7 year old daughter with a diagnoses of autism, anxiety disorder and ODD has been restrained in school over 10 times that I know of one day she was restrained 3 different times by 6 different staff until her "body calmed down and she slept from 1-2 hours on the floor". We have had team meeting and I thought we agreed to not restrain her but they have done it 2 more times that I know of. My daughter will only talk about these incidences for a couple of seconds. The last incident she came to me and said that they hurt her body really bad. She said that one of the para educators sat on her legs and squeezed her arms. I have a very bad feeling about sending her back there. They have held her lunch in exchange for time out and pushups, and now are trying to set it up so that I don't come to the classroom. What should I do?
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