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GeorgetownLawyr, Family Law Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 12049
Experience:  Experience: contested Divorces, custody disputes, Post dissolution modification, child support issues, adopti
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There is a 50/50 child custody split, the child being at each

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There is a 50/50 child custody split, the child being at each household exactly the same amount of time in a two-week period. The agreement was to alternate claiming the child in taxes every other year (between the mother and father). The mother renegged on the agreement once the father married 8 years ago. The child is now 18 and will graduate from high school in June. The father did not claim the child as he didn't want the hassle of the IRS audited the taxes every year. Is there any recourse to get the money owed since the father's AGI was always higher?
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so it's been 8 years since the mother broke the agreement?
why now does the father want to do something about it, after all this time?
finally, was the alternate years of claiming for tax purposes in the court order??
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
No, there was no court order, just a verbal agreement. The father did not want the child to be involved in any financial disputes but since the child custody will end and the child will no longer be in the middle of the financial aspect, the father felt it would be a good time now to see if there is anything he can do.
Yes, I can appreciate that. Good dad. The problem is nothing was in writing, so you cannot enforce anything. If it had been in writing you would have had a breach of contract issue which would have had a statute of limitations of 2-4 years. If it was in a court order (as it should have been and is standard language to have in a court order) then you would have had a contempt of court issue that would have been enforceable. By allowing mom to claim the child each year without objection, dad has waived his right to now go after her 8 years later. His consideration for the child is admirable, but from a legal standpoint it left him without recourse at this point other than to sue for breach of an oral contract and that is going to be a weak argument. under the statute of frauds any agreement for transactions over $500 need to be in writing to be enforceable so to try to enforce an oral agreement is hard, but to try to enforce it 8 years later or even for the last 2 years or whenever the last year was that he had to claim the child is going to be an uphill battle. the amount of money he would spend fighting this uphill battle might be greater than the exemption he would have been able to claim had he claimed the child in the first place. tough choice but I think legally mom would have the stronger case to argue his silence was consent and he waived his right by allowing it to happen all these years without objection. The choice is his now whether he thinks it's worth the time and effort to pursue it. I think not and he can look at it as the sacrifice he made for the love of the child.

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Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I understand your answer and thank you very much. I have just one other bit of information. There was a trend. They took turns claiming her every other year since the child was 2. Therefore, there was 8 years wherein they took turns claiming her. Would this help a breach of oral contract case or no?
Yes, it would help. I just think it's not a very strong case because he remained silent all these years...despite the early trend. Not even a letter or email to say "I object to your claiming the child" or something to that effect. He can take her to court most definitely. Just as an attorney I have to weigh the chances and strengths of a case and the weaknesses outweigh the strengths here but ultimately it will be up to the court to decide the issue. So if it is worth the time and money for him to pursue it, there is nothing preventing him from doing so. I hope this clarifies. Thank you for your ACCEPT and kind regards.
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