Child Custody – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

Posted by on Nov 7, 2017 in Divorce, Family Law | 0 comments

Child Custody – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

Who will typically get custody?

In most cases, both types of custody (legal and physical) are shared by the parents. The court determines custody by deciding what type of arrangement is in the best interest of the child.

What is joint custody?

This is when parents share decision making authority over the child. Typically, there are four areas in which the decisions are to be made jointly: religious upbringing, education, medical care and extracurricular activities.

If both parents share custody does anyone pay child support?

Child support is calculated based upon income, so the parent with the higher income will most likely need to pay child support regardless of the custody situation. However, in an uncontested divorce, usually the parties can settle / agree on a child support amount, and if its reasonable the court will likely approve it.

Can a parent refuse to allow visitation if child support is not paid?

No, these are two separate issues. In addition, withholding visitation can cause you

Can my child decide who to live with?

If your child is fourteen or older, they can elect to live with one parent. If the court believes their election is not in their best interest, it can overrule it.

Do grandparents have custody / visitation rights?

No. Absent death, mental incapacity of both parents, or other special circumstances the grandparents will not be awarded custody and have no visitation rights in Georgia.

Do I need a parenting plan?

Yes! It should detail parenting time, set forth a visitation schedule as well as designate responsibilities for care of the child. It should also cover visitation for holidays and extended visitation time during the summer.

Will the terms of my separation agreement carry over into my divorce?

Georgia does not typically recognize legal separations. But the general answer is yes. Most courts will keep the status quo unless a burden of proof that circumstances have significantly changed can be met.

When is child custody typically decided?

Generally, custody will be decided twice – once at the temporary hearing and again at the trial of the case.

When can I file a modification action?

There are no time restrictions; however, there must be significant evidence as to the need for modification.

What if my spouse and I cannot agree?

The judge will make the determination in this case. The court can appoint a guardian ad litem to represent the child’s interests.

If you facing child custody issues or just have questions about family law issies in general, call us at 770-609-1247 to speak with an attorney.

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What is a Domestic Relations Financial Affidavit?

Posted by on Oct 5, 2017 in Divorce, Family Law | 0 comments

What is a Domestic Relations Financial Affidavit?

If you are in any divorce action for child support or alimony, or if you are in any action modifying child support or alimony, or if you are requesting for attorney’s fees, you must complete and file a Domestic Relations Financial Affidavit (commonly referred to as a “DRFA”).

A Domestic Relations Financial Affidavit is mandated by the Georgia Superior Court Rule 24.2. Failure to provide the Domestic Relations Financial Affidavit may subject you to the penalties of contempt or other sanctions deemed appropriate by the court, and may result in the postponement of the hearing until you provide the financial information.

A DRFA is a sworn statement under oath. This means that you must swear that the information contained in the DRFA is true and accurate. If the information on your DRFA is false or misleading, you may be subject to court ordered punishment for making false statements under oath. It is therefore most important to provide true and accurate information. You will be required to summarize your assets, monthly income and monthly expenses.

Sample blank Domestic Relations Financial Affidavits are provided by the Georgia Supreme Court and Georgia Superior Courts.  Below are links to several blank DRFAs are listed below:

You must file your DRFA with the court and serve it upon the opposing party at least fifteen (15) days before any temporary or final hearing. In an action filed during emergency situations, the fifteen (15) day rule may not be strictly adhered to and filing a Domestic Relations Financial Affidavit may be delayed under the Georgia Superior Court Rule 24.2. “Emergency situations” typically refer to the possibility of domestic violence, abuse, or kidnapping.

Filling out a Domestic Relations Financial Affidavit is very time consuming and may seem like a waste of time, but it is important to take your time to accurately report your assets, income, and expenses. In a divorce action, the amount of child and spousal support is based on the financial circumstances of the parties, and most Georgia courts look to the financial information provided in the DRFA to determine the proper amount. Thus, the accuracy of your DRFA is critical to the outcome of your divorce actions. If you are completing a DRFA, we recommend you give full attention to each and every question and take time to go over your answers with an attorney. Below are a few tips you can keep in mind when completing your DRFA.

Do Not Leave Blank Spaces on the Domestic Relations Financial Affidavit

You can either complete the Domestic Relations Financial Affidavit electronically or hand-write the information in. Do not leave any blank spaces on the form. When you are completing all fields in your DRFA, use “n/a” if a field is not applicable.

Fill out your Domestic Relations Financial Affidavit with figures that can be proven

The Domestic Relations Financial Affidavit will require you to list details of your assets, income, expenses and debts. You must limit your response to figures that you can prove by using receipts, bank statements, or other financial documents. Try not to guess or speculate. Save your receipts, saving bank statements, and other financial documents in case the figures are challenged. Some of the items in the “Expenses” section of the DRFA may be difficult to know the average monthly amounts. For example, it may not be easy for you to figure out how much you spend every month on “gifts” to others. In such cases, please consult with your attorney.

Assets include non-marital, separate property

Non-marital property and any income or assets kept in a separate account must be listed on your Domestic Relations Financial Affidavit. Non-martial property is property acquired before the marriage as gift, inheritance or pre-marital ownership. If you have a bank account or safety deposit box that your spouse does not know about, you must also list it on your DRFA.

Health insurance cost for the children must be included separately

The Domestic Relations Financial Affidavit specifically requests the cost of health, dental, and vision insurance for the children. You may not list the full cost of your monthly premium if that includes insurance for yourself. If you pay your monthly premium for both you and your children together, you can ask your office manager or administrator and find out the sole cost of the children’s insurance.

Debts are any other expenses not already mentioned on the Domestic Relations Financial Affidavit

The “Debts” section of the Domestic Relations Financial Affidavit (“Payments to Creditors” section) asks for all other expenses not mentioned in the “Expenses” section. This include student loans, payments for back taxes, credit card payments, and any other outstanding money that is owed. The “monthly payment” should be the full monthly payment, even if you are not currently making full payments.

Complete your Domestic Relations Financial Affidavit as soon as you can

You need to complete your Domestic Relations Financial Affidavit as soon as possible and provide it to your attorney with two current pay stubs attached. The DRFA must be filed with the Clerk of Court at least fifteen (15) days prior to the temporary hearing or trial. Georgia Superior Court Rule 24.2. Failure to comply with the fifteen (15) day rules, however, does not mean that the court is estopped from admitting a lately filed DRFA as evidence. Hendry v. Hendry, 292 Ga. 1 (2012) (holding that a court may decide to review a lately filed DRFA as evidence even if a party failed to comply with the fifteen-day rule under Georgia Superior Court Rule 24.2). Failure to file a DRFA, on the other hand, may result in the penalties of contempt, the postponement of the hearing or trial, and other sanctions deemed appropriate by the court. Rule 24.2. It is, therefore, most important to complete and file your DRFA.

Make sure your Domestic Relations Financial Affidavit is notarized

You must sign the completed DRFA in the presence of a notary. This is because the DRFA by definition is an affidavit, and affidavits have to be notarized to be admissible in court.  The notary will first confirm your identity by checking your identification. Then you may sign the DRFA in front of the notary.

Revise your Domestic Relations Financial Affidavit anytime your financial circumstances changes

You can update your Domestic Relations Financial Affidavit when there is a change in circumstances. If you get a raise or lose a job, you need to revise your DRFA accordingly. However, revising your DRFA too many times may question the validity or credibility of your DRFA.

Be honest on the Domestic Relations Financial Affidavit

DRFA - Coleman Legal Group, LLC

The most important thing to remember when filing out your DRFA is to be honest. You may want to lower your income or increase your monthly expenses on your DRFA. However, doing so will only allow the opposing party’s attorney to attack your credibility during cross-examination. Because you swear under oath that when you submit your DRFA, you may also be subject to court ordered punishment for making false statements under oath. Refer to our other article titled “Why the Domestic Relations Financial Affidavit is Important” for further reasons why you have to honestly and accurately complete the Domestic Relations Financial Affidavit.

If you are facing divorce in Georgia and have questions or need assistance, call us at 770-609-1247 to schedule a meeting with one of our experienced divorce and family law attorneys.

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Child Custody in Georgia

Posted by on Mar 10, 2017 in Divorce, Family Law | 0 comments

Child Custody in Georgia

Child custody will be a major issue if you are in the process of going through a divorce. Divorce proceedings can become overwhelming, especially when there are minor children involved, as a divorce can have a tremendous emotional impact on children. Similar to other states, Georgia has its own rules when it comes to making a custody determination. Georgia court’s focus on the “best interest” of the child. This article is written for educational purposes and it will highlight the basics of child custody. The main focus of the article will be on how child custody is determined. As always, it is generally advised to consult your local experienced family law attorney before determining what custody arrangement will be most suitable in your child’s case.

Basics of Child Custody in Georgia

In an event of a divorce, a custody order determines who has the legal right to keep the child. A child custody order transfers responsibility of care for a child to parents or someone in place of parents who keeps best interest of child in mind.

Child custody can be divided into two different parts:

1) Legal Custody

Under Georgia law, legal custody determines which parent has the authority to make major decisions on behalf of a child. The decisions pertain to areas such as: Medical treatment, Education, Religion, Extracurricular activities.  Legal custody can further be divided into: Sole legal custody and joint legal custody.

  • Under the Sole Legal custody, only one parent gets the primary authority to make the decisions concerning child’s major life areas.
  • On contrary, under the Joint Legal custody, both parents equally get a say in the important areas pertaining to the child’s life.

2) Physical Custody

Under Georgia law, physical custody determines with which parent the child will primarily reside with. In the state of Georgia, most courts give one parent primary physical custody, while the other parent is deemed to be the non-custodial parent. The non-custodial parent is generally provided with the visitation rights.

However, often times, the visitation rights are confused with the custodial rights. Under O.C.G.A. § 19-9-22(a), visitation is not the same thing as custody. The non-custodial parent is provided with the parenting times under which the non-custodial parent may visit the child. Furthermore, under the Court’s discretion, the visitation may be supervised depending on the external factors.

The joint custody can come in both legal and physical custody and it focuses on the responsibilities of each parent separately instead of both parents together. Unmarried parents who live separately have joined custody. Full joint custody allows both parents to make decisions together and have physical control of the child.

Determining Child Custody in Georgia Courts

In Georgia, custody is determined under the “Best Interest of Child” standard. Under O.C.G.A 19-9-3, the judge has the discretion to determine custody. If the child is 14 years or older, he has the right to select the custodial parent. Further, under O.C.G.A 19-9-3, if the custody of the child is issue between the parents, there is no “prima-facie” right for father or mother to claim the custody of the child. “Prima-facie” right is defined as legal presumption, which means on face of it at first sight. The Court should not favor one form of custody over another, nor should the Court favor either parent. Furthermore, during the custody determination hearing, the judge will have the sole discretion to make the decision, and Jury shall not hear the matter.
In determining the “best interest” of the child, the judge will take into consideration all the circumstances surrounding the case.

In determining what is likely to fall under the best interest of a child, the Court evaluates the standard under the following factors:

  • Child’s age
  • Child’s health
  • Emotional ties between the child and parents
  • The ability of each parent to care for the child
  • The child’s ties to home, community, and school
  • History of family violence (if any)

Sometimes, if custody harms the child, the court can give custody to somebody else because it is in the best interest of a child. This is called guardianship, where a person who is not the parent asks for custody.

Non-custodial parent cannot be denied right of visitation, if the non-custodial parent were never married to other parent, or because the non-custodial parent has a disability, or a different lifestyle.

Child Support Orders

When awarding the child custody, the Court also awards child support orders to the primary custodians. It is important to keep in mind the child custody and visitation isn’t the same as the child support order. Therefore, just because a parent cannot be stopped from visiting the child because he or she is not making the court ordered payments. On the contrary, a parent is still obligated to make the payments, even if the custodial parent is not allowing the non-custodial parents visitation rights. The Court in Beasley v. Lamb held that, “in an order changing child custody from one parent to another, the court can provide therein that the child support shall be payable to or by the person to whom the custody is awarded.”

Once the child support order is in effect, the Court has the discretion to modify the child support order, if the circumstances call for it. The Georgia courts are likely to modify the child support order if there has been substantial change in financial circumstances.

Going through a divorce is a roller-coaster ride, but it can be made less painful with the help of a professional. When minor children are involved, it is important to keep your child’s well being in mind, as well. A child demands affection of both parents, and nothing should come in between. Child custody determination can become complicated.

When child related matters are at stake, it is important to seek an experienced attorney who can assist you in your matter. Call us today at 770-609-1247 to speak with one of our experienced divorce and family law attorneys. You do not have to go through this alone, and we are here to help.

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Child Custody Modification Basics

Posted by on Sep 9, 2016 in Family Law | 0 comments

Child Custody Modification Basics

Facing a child custody modification issue? Now is not the time to sit on your rights and gamble away your child’s life. Now is the time to take an action that will serve the “best interest” of your child. “Best Interest of Child” Standard is the common standard used when determining the basis for custody and parenting orders.

Different Requirements for Modifying Visitation and Custody

A Court can generally modify a visitation or parenting time once in each two (2) year period following an initial entry of judgment without the show of change in circumstances.  Child Custody Modification can be allowed on the basis that significant change in family circumstances has taken place since the original order. If the change impacts the best interest of the child, Court will likely find the Custody modification to be appropriate. The parent requesting the custody change is required to submit a new proposed parenting plan to the court.  See O.C.G.A. § 19-9-3

Factors constituting Changed Circumstances

1. Relocation of Custodial Parent

Child custody may be modified if a custodial parent plans to move to a new residence. Under Georgia law, custodial parent may be allowed to move with a child unless non-custodial parent can show that the move will be detrimental to the child.

If the custodial parent plans to change the residence, non-custodial parent must be informed of any planned change in the residence. Under Georgia law, a custodial parent must give anyone with visitation rights or court-ordered parenting time at least 30 days advanced notice before planning a move. Lastly, in addition to the 30 days advanced notice, full address of new residence should be provided to the non-custodial parent.

2. Child’s Request to Change Custodial Parent

In Georgia, if a child is 14 years or older, he/she may choose the parent to live with. Judge is likely to honor that decision as long as it is in the child’s best interest. If the child is over 14, and requests a change in custodial parent, that will automatically be sufficient change of circumstances for custody re-evaluation. Judge gives consideration to child’s wishes, but has the discretion to evaluate other factors relating to the best interest of child standard.

If a child is at least 11 years old, the child may have discretion to choose which parent to live with, however the judge will review the overall circumstances closely. In some cases, Court is likely to appoint a Guardian Ad Litem (GAL), a neutral third party to represent the child and assist the judge in making a decision as to custodial preference. The Guardian Ad Litem (GAL) is likely to monitor child’s environment: home, school etc.

A judge has the discretion to grant temporary change of custody for period of 6 months if the child is between ages 11-14. If a child has an older sibling and wishes to accompany that sibling, to preserve family unity, judge is likely to honor a request for a change in custodial parent. Parent may also request a judge to modify custody orders for younger kids on the basis that an older child has requested change in custody.

If non-custodial parent can meet its burden in proving that custodial parent has become unfit or unable to take care of a child, custody modification may be granted. Furthermore, if the situation is serious as in custodial parent has mental illness or drug dependency and this will affect child’s safety, custody modification may be granted.

Process to modify child custody can be very complex. A child needs affection of both parents. When it comes to modifying child custody, it can be a roller coaster ride. Therefore, it is advised to consult your local family law attorney with any questions or concerns you may have.

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Child Custody, Visitation and Contempt

Posted by on Feb 13, 2015 in Divorce, Family Law | 0 comments

Child Custody, Visitation and Contempt

Custody and visitation orders in Georgia are separate from orders of contempt. Custody and visitation orders are always awarded on the best interest of the children involved. Even if parents decide on a parenting agreement the court will still issue an order to indicate a parenting plan to delineate parental responsibilities, primary residence, and specific parenting times for each parent. Once a custody and visitation order is established both parents must comply with the order or they can be held in contempt of the court order.

Violating a custody or visitation order is serious and as a consequence, can result in a modification of custody or visitation, when necessary to address the, “willful disregard to the courts orders.” In some instances violators of a child custody or visitation order can even be subjected to arrest, incarceration, and monetary fines. If you are suspected of violating a custody or visitation order then it is important that you contact counsel immediately as a case against you can result in serious consequences for both you and your children. Most of the time violations of custody and visitation orders stem from non-payment of child support and or for hindrance of a parent child relationship. The following are a list of behaviors which are typical of hostile aggressive parents and parents that are attempting to alienate the child from the other parent. You should seek an attorney if you believe that the other parent is “willfully engaging in any of the following activities.”

Blocking Visitation
If a parent is intentionally making a child unavailable for court ordered visitation it is considered visitation interference. Parents may attempt to block visitation as a means of controlling the other parent or preventing the child from spending time with the other parent due to a deep seeded hatred of the other parent—revenge. Blocking Visitation takes many forms and may manifest itself by the parent specifically scheduling activities to interfere with the visitation time and refusing to allow the other parent to obtain visitation due to the activity. It may also come in a direct form where one parent will directly and “willfully” state that they will not allow for the child to attend visitation—sometimes with an excuse and sometimes without an excuse. It is important to document every time that you are denied visitation and to present such documentation during a contempt proceeding. Without evidence that the other parent denied visitation you may not be able to hold the other party in contempt. If you are able to speak to the other parent when you are denied visitation you may also record the conversation and bring your court order with you. If you are still denied you may ask for the police to enforce the visitation order.

Blocking Communication
Blocking communication is another serious offense that may be addressed in a contempt hearing. Blocking communication is when a parent intercepts the other parent’s attempts to make contact with their child through text messages, phone calls, letters, cards, or emails. Blocking communications may or may not specifically be addressed in a custody or visitation order; however, such behaviors are considered threatening to the parent child relationship. In some instances the hostile aggressive parent will remove personal phones provided to the children to contact the other parent or even block incoming calls from the other parent, turn off their phone, hang up on phone calls, and or place the phone on silent and ignore incoming calls. Even if a court order doesn’t specifically bar this type of activity most courts still view this type of interference with the child- parent relationship as detrimental and are less likely to provide more custody rights to a parent that is alienating the other, as it is not in the child’s best interest.

Children Refusing to Visit
In some cases the parents engaging in hostile aggressive parenting will claim that their attempts of alienation in the child-parent relationship are a result of the child being unwilling to maintain a relationship with the other parent. In reality the children are actually encouraged to avoid contact with the other parent and may be rewarded for not spending time with the other parent or through negative conditioning are influenced in not spending time with the other parent. Parental alienation and hostile aggressive parenting may achieve the child’s denial for visitation by speaking negatively about the other parent or encouraging the child to not love the other parent. It is important to handle such situations carefully and to consult a licensed child therapist if such occurrences exist, in some situations the child may in fact be refusing to visit due to abuse, harsh disciplinary actions, or lack of affection from the visiting parent. It is also important to note that the court is frequently very skeptical of claims that a child absolutely does not want to see their other parent – and it is often the view of the court that most minor children are too young to make this decision and the parents are obligated to make visitation happen despite a minor child’s reluctance to see the other parent.  Also, these claims usually are not a good defense in a contempt case for denying visitation to the child’s other parent.

No Child Support … No Visitation
In some instances a parent will deny the visiting parent visitation in an attempt to obtain child support. Parents that withhold visitation for lack of child support are operating under the premise that the visiting parent is not in compliance of the court order so they aren’t required to either until the obligations are fulfilled. However, two wrongs do not make a right. If a parent has not received support on time they can contact the Department of Child Support Services, the Department of Human Services, or file a motion to enforce payments. In the courts eyes if you withhold visitation for child support you are using your children as a pawn against the other parent –against the child’s best interest. Likewise, the other parent not receiving visitation, for lack of child support, can petition the court to remedy the lack of visitation.

Missed Visitation
If a parent routinely misses visitation, failing to keep promises to children, and or arriving late to visitation, then they are also acting contradictory to a child’s best interest. It is important that the visiting parent is not intentionally harming their relationship with their children. Documenting such activity is important and seeking help for children via therapy may also be necessary—as children tend to feel guilt about them being the reason the other parent will not visit. Recently, a trend has grown where a visiting parent will routinely claim that the other parent is blocking visitation when in fact they are missing visitation. The offending parent’s goal in their actions is to alienate the other parent by causing strain in the child’s relationship and in fact falsely accuse the other parent of committing parental alienation. Once the offending parent obtains custody they will then control the other parent through the child. Yes, parental alienation can be used by either the custodial or non-custodial parent and is not gender specific, meaning that an alienating parent may be male or female.

Interference with Custody or Visitation Has Consequences
A contempt of court can be filed in any situation in which a parent has failed to comply with court obligations concerning the child. In some situations you may file for contempt on your own through county forms or may need the assistance of an attorney in more complex situations. Once a motion for contempt is filed the court will set a hearing date to hear evidence on the matter. Once a motion is filed you must serve a copy of the motion to the other parent. In order for the parent to be held in contempt it must be proven that their actions were “willful” and in violation of the court order. It is important to note that a court cannot modify custody during a contempt hearing, but as a consequence of the contempt issues can change visitation arrangements. Parents that repeatedly interfere with visitation or custody can result in a change of visitation or custody.

A remedy during a contempt hearing may include:

  • Orders for Make-up Visitation
  • Orders for the Parent Interfering to attend parenting classes.
  • Ordering the parent interfering to pay cost for the interference.
  • Altering the visitation exchange location and time.
  • Holding the interfering parent in contempt of court.
  • Ordering the parent interfering to pay fines.
  • Ordering the parent interfering to pay the other party’s attorney’s fee and expenses
  • Ordering the parent interfering to serve jail time.

In the state of Georgia interference of child custody can become a criminal act. If a non-custodial parent keeps a child away from a custodial parent, attempts to hide a child from a custodial parent, and or fails to return a child after the court ordered visitation time then they are guilty of custodial interference, parental kidnapping, etc. This type of interference can be punishable by misdemeanor or felony. In any circumstance that a parent keeps the child out of state after the expiration of the visitation period, then the offense is an interstate custody issue—a felony in every circumstance.

Even if you believe that your child is in danger or serious risk in the care of the other parent you cannot legally take settling matters by yourself by preventing the other parent access to the other parent. If the occurrence concerns abuse you should consider contacting a therapist and or Child Protective Services –based on the recommendations of the court, legal authority, and or family attorney. If the situation is an emergency, direct physical abuse, neglect, and or emotional abuse –the situation should be documented by police. If you believe the child should be protected from the other parents care then you should contact the court immediately to notify them of the circumstances and stating that the children will be protected and removed from the area to a new residential location or social service protection agency—until a motion for emergency relief is determined. If an emergency hearing is not necessary the party effected can file for contempt and modification hearings.

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Can Attorneys Fees Be Deducted From My Taxes?

Posted by on Jan 14, 2015 in Divorce, Family Law | 0 comments

Can Attorneys Fees Be Deducted From My Taxes?

If you have sought legal help or are thinking of going to get legal advice, one of the questions that seems to be popular is whether expenses made for the legal advice are tax deductible. Perhaps you are considering divorcing your spouse or maybe you need help with a contract on a house you are interested in renting. There may be multiple reasons you may require the services of an attorney, but that fact stands that regardless of the reason, you are going you are going to have to pay for those services. Normally, the expenses incurred for legal advice or services are not tax deductible, but there are a few exceptions.

The General Guideline
The guideline to follow is straight enough; you can deduct your attorney’s fees you pay trying to collect or produce income that is taxable, or in connection with the collection or determination of a refund of any tax. Simply put, if the legal fees are connected in some form to taxable income or taxes, you are allowed to make a deduction. For example, you can make a deduction if you need the help of an attorney to procure money you have to pay taxes on or if an attorney helped you with a type of tax matter, like having legal representation when you are being audited by the IRS.

Deductions
There are different types of situations that could qualify for a tax deduction, like fees you may pay for tax advice you may seek during a divorce case, like how the divorcing couple will split deductions for child care, home mortgage interest, or whether alimony is tax deductible by the paying spouse or taxable income to the spouse receiving the alimony. If you are trying to get your divorced spouse to pay alimony that is past due. If you are receiving a share of a class action settlement in a lawsuit that was filed against your former or current employer. For instance, say your former or current employer settles the class action lawsuit claiming that it didn’t pay overtime wages. As a part of the settlement you receive a check for $2000, but $2500 is reported to the IRS as taxable income because your share of the attorney’s amounted to $500. Since the income is considered work related, you are allowed to make a tax deduction for the $500 in attorney fees.

Typically, you are not allowed to deduct legal fees paid for advice personal matters or for things that do not produce any form of taxable income such as fees for settling a will or any kind of probate matter between family members, any kind of help in the closing of a purchase for a home, or the filing of a personal lawsuit, this is because any monetary award obtained from the lawsuit is not a part of your gross income making it non-taxable.

The Process and the Amount
Usually attorney’s fees can be deducted as itemized miscellaneous deductions on the form schedule A of the 1040 tax return. Miscellaneous deductions are often limited by what is known as the the two percent rule, which is that you can only deduct the amount of your miscellaneous deductions that’s more than two percent of your adjusted gross income, which is an amount you will list of your 1040 tax return, so it may be possible that you cannot deduct all of the fees you may want.

Are the Attorney’s Fees Business Related?
You are allowed to make deductions for the same things mentioned earlier as a business owner. If you hire an attorney and they help your business produce income or they prepare your taxes, then you can deduct those fees. You can also deduct fees paid for the negotiation or drafting of contracts that are for the sale of your services or items to your customers, filing a lawsuit to collect any money that a customer my owe you, also, you can typically deduct any attorney fee’s incurred in the purchase of an existing business or even starting your own. These business related expenses are usually deducted the same way other ordinary and necessary business expenses are, on schedule C on your 1040 tax return.

Finally, make sure to obtain the services of an experienced Certified Public Accountant (CPA) to help you in the process of determining if the attorneys fees you have paid are tax deductible.

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