Thursday, December 10, 2015

Tax Deductions and Modification

On Tuesday, the Mississippi Court of Appeals decided Everett v. Burchfield located here.   The  Everetts divorced in 2013 and split custody of the four kids.  Each claimed two of the children as tax deductions.  In 2014, Everett sought sole physical custody of the children. Burchfield counterclaimed for full physical custody.  The court granted full physical custody to Burchfield and altered the parties’ property settlement agreement to allow Burchfield to include all four children as dependents on her tax forms.  Everett appealed and the Court found as follows: “We affirm the chancellor’s judgment with regard to custody. However, the parties’ property-settlement agreement was not properly before the chancery court for amendment. Accordingly, we reverse and render the chancellor’s ruling as to Burchfield’s right to claim all four children as dependents for tax purposes.”

This ruling seems kind of strange to me with all parties before the court.  It seems to me that the issue could be resolved by the trial court as part of the claims for general relief.  This case could be a signal to file more detailed pleadings and that if the relief is not specifically requested, the trial court may not grant it. 

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