Lori R. Holyfield Attorney at Law

An Advocate Through Life's Transitions

How Do I Know If My Child's Other Parent Got a Raise?

Did you know that most Tennessee Permanent Parenting Plans contain the following language?:

Each parent shall send proof of income to the other parent for the prior calendar year as follows:

 ·         IRS Forms W-2 and 1099 shall be sent to the other parent on or before February 15.

·         A copy of his or her federal income tax return shall be sent to the other parent on or before April 15 or any later date when it is due because of an extension of time for filing.

·          The completed form required by the Department of Human Services shall be sent to the Department on or before the date the federal income tax return is due by the parent paying child support. This requirement applies only if a parent is receiving benefits from the Department for a child.

The parent paying work-related child care expenses shall send proof of expenses to the other parent for the prior calendar year and an estimate for the next calendar year, on or before February 15.

Why are parents required to give each other their tax forms every year?  Because incomes can change quickly, and these changes could affect the ongoing child support obligation.  Your ex is unlikely to volunteer that he got a $50,000 a year raise, but W-2s and 1099s ordinarily don't lie. 

So how do you get these tax forms?  Well, first of all, you could try simply asking your ex to provide them.  If that doesn't work, you can file a motion with the court to require the documents to be produced, or you can simply skip that step and subpoena the ex's employer to get the documents directly from the source.

Also of note: if you ask your ex-spouse for his or her documents, be prepared to show yours as well.  If you don't want to show yours, it may be best not to raise any flags by asking for theirs.

Lori R. Holyfield focuses her practice in divorce and family law and serves Shelby, Tipton, and Fayette Counties in southwest Tennessee.

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