Tag Archives: Child Support
It is one of the most common myths that people maintain when it comes to child custody: Once a child reaches a certain age, that child can choose which parent to live with, right? Well, that is actually incorrect. However, this myth is based in history and actually grounded is truth. Under former Ohio law, once a child attained the age of 12 years old, that child had the power to choose which parent was to be deemed the residential parent and legal custodian of that child. However, under current Ohio law, minor children no longer have the ability to choose which parent they want to live with on a permanent basis. In other words, when the Court issues its final divorce decree which, among other things, allocates parental rights and responsibilities, it is not the child that determines which parent is to be the residential parent, even if that child is a teenager. Ohio law treats a 14 year old in the same manner as a 4 year old when it comes to determining which parent with be designated as the residential parent. And, like almost all issues involving minor children, the determination is guided by what is in the “best interest of the child”.
So, divorcing parents, remember that your child will not be choosing for or against you when it comes to custody issues. Rather, the Court will decide and you need to focus your energy on convincing the Court that it would be in the best interest of the child to live with you … do not work on convincing the child that he or she should choose you. Which, in truth, is not fair to the child anyway.
When considering personal bankruptcy, many clients ask, “Will my income tax refund be taken?” The answer to that question is that, “it depends”, regardless of whether you are filing an Ohio Chapter 7 bankruptcy or an Ohio Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
Whether an individual’s income tax refund becomes a part of the bankruptcy estate depends on when the bankruptcy is filed with the United States Bankruptcy Court. For instance, if an individual files bankruptcy after that individual has both filed and received their income tax refund, it is highly unlikely that their income tax refund will become a part of the bankruptcy estate. However, if a person files for bankruptcy shortly before or shortly after filing their income tax return, then it is very likely that a person’s income tax refund will become part of the bankruptcy estate. This is because the person is yet to have received their income tax refund, and that money can be used to pay off the person’s existing creditors.
However, if you happen to file your income tax refund in or around the same time that you file for bankruptcy that does not necessarily mean that your entire income tax refund will become a part of the bankruptcy estate for the distribution to your creditors. In Ohio, portions of your income tax refund attributed to the Child Tax Credit and the Earned Income Tax Credit cannot become part of the bankruptcy estate. O.R.C. 2329.66(A)(9)(g). For instance, if you have an income tax refund for $4000, and $2500 is attributed to the Child Tax Credit and the Earned Income Tax Credit, then the most that can become part of the bankruptcy estate is $1500.
It is best to address a qualified bankruptcy attorney with specific questions about the implications of filing for bankruptcy shortly after filing and/or receiving your income tax refund. Your bankruptcy lawyer can help you determine the timing that will be best for you. It is important to note, that you should never spend your income tax refund after it has been determined that it will become a part of the bankruptcy estate. This can result in serious consequences, such as your bankruptcy being denied.