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My Blog

Who Gets to Claim the Kids for Taxes?


Who Gets to Claim the Kids for Taxes?

The issue comes up often. Who gets to claim the kids for tax purposes? It’s an important question because the answer equals big money. There are many tax benefits with respect to claiming a qualified child as a dependent. For the calendar year of 2015, claiming one’s child as a dependent reduces one’s taxable income by approximately $4,000. Another possible tax benefit is the Child Tax Credit, which is worth up to $1,000 for each child under the age of 17; bear in mind there aree certain eligibility requirements that are based on the parent’s adjusted gross income.

12 "Secrets" to Getting the Custody Arrangement You Want


Twelve “Secrets” to Getting the Custody Arrangement You Want

 

As a child custody attorney in New Mexico, I’ve heard it all. “Dad is always at least 20 minutes late picking up the kids.” Or “My ex won’t let me have any say in what happens to our girls.” Or, “I want 50-50 custody because it’s not fair that she should have the kids all the time.”

If a lawyer tells you that they can solve these problems instantly, run. The truth is, if you want 50-50 custody, or if you have a difficult ex who refuses to cooperate, there are powerful steps you can take to break past the impasse.

Child Custody and the Gay Parent

New Mexico recognizes marriage between same-sex people. Our New Mexico Supreme Court "legalized" same-sex marriage in December of 2013.SeeGriego v. Oliver.

The Court said in an unanimous decision that it is unconstitutional to deny marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples.

"We hold that the State of New Mexico is constitutionally required to allow same-gender couples to marry and must extend to them the rights, protections, and responsibilities that derive from civil marriage under New Mexico law," Justice Edward L.

Grandparents and Child Custody Part Two

There are three conditions where grandparents can petition the Children's Court for custody of their grandkids. The New Mexico Grandparents Visitation Privileges Act provides the following scenarios:  

We discussed one of those scenarios in our November 28, 2014 installment. That article focused on the Kinship-Guardianship process whereby grandparents can petition for custody and guardianship for their grandchildren in cases where the biological parents have left the children with grandma and grandpa for an extended period of time and with no real end in sight.

Custody and the Single Dad

What do you do when the "baby's momma" doesn't want to let you have visitation? I get this question a lot from guys who are dads but aren't married to the mother of their child(ren). In fact, I was just in Court dealing with this common situation just yesterday.

Oftentimes couples believe they can work things out without formalizing anything. I will ask a client if they have an actual parenting plan drawn up with the other parent. Most times they do not. People simply assume they have inherit parenting rights.

Who Gets to Keep the House?

People frequently ask me who gets to keep the house in a divorce case. Theoretically the marital home is community property and is legally shared by both parties. However in real life it really boils down to who can realistically afford to pay for the home. In my experience, most of the time neither party can afford to keep the house.

One of the major causes of divorce in the United States is financial stress. And New Mexico is not immune. No big revelations but stop and think if money is what is underlying much of your marital discord, how realistic is it for you to keep the home?

On thinking Like a Lawyer

Here's a great article I just read from Princeton Law School...Hope you enjoy.

“On Thinking Like A Lawyer” Anne-Marie Slaughter (Used by permission of Harvard Law School;  first printed in Harvard Law Today May, 2002) 
 
You are now all well on your way to that magical state that is the end-product of your first year in law school: thinking like a lawyer. So what have we taught you? 
Thinking like a lawyer means, in the first instance, thinking with care and precision, reading and speaking with attention to nuance and detail.

Grandparents and Child Custody Part One


Grandparents and Child Custody Part 1

The Holidays seem to bring out the questions in people and a couple of folks have asked about their rights as grandparents when it comes to physical custody of their grandchildren. Sometimes children are left with grandparents, aunts and uncles, or other family members by the child’s parent for one reason or another. And usually this is done in the best interests of the child or children.  What do you do when a weekend becomes six months and mom or dad are nowhere in sight?

What is "The Best Interests of the Child" Standard?


The Best Interests of the Child Standard

The underlying goal for any children’s court judge or family court judge is to determine what’s in the best interest of the child or children. They do this in every child custody decision, every child support determination, and in CYFD abuse and neglect cases. Parents believe their ideas, goals, and plans are in their child’s best interests. Lawyers draft motions and advocate for what they believe is in the best interests of child-client or in the best interests of their clients’ children.

How to Find the Right Lawyer

For many people, finding an attorney is a mysterious thing. That's because the average person doesn't hire an attorney everyday. But sometimes in life challenges surprise us and we find ourselves in need of a legal professional. Some examples are drafting a will or contesting a probate, starting a business, estate planning, an arrest by the police, automobile accident, civil law suit, and divorce and child support issues. So when these events pop up and we know we need a lawyer, how do we find one?
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