Happy Day after Tax Day!

calendar_April_16I think most of us survived the April 15, 2014 tax return filing deadline, albeit perhaps a little less happy than we were before. In the last few years I have turned my tax returns over to a professional as it has become too hectic for me to deal with as I try to practice law. Moreover, as I have done this I have also shifted the emotional burden associated with filing my taxes as well because I no longer fret about missing a deadline. This is now my CPA’s job, and I no longer worry about whether I have filed a timely return. Admittedly, I pay for the service, but it has value to me as I have now removed one stressor from my life. 

This is often the case in divorce. Hiring an attorney often means you no longer have to worry as much; if you have chosen wisely you can have some peace during a very stressful period in your life. As a rule, we all know when something is good for us; the same is true when selecting an attorney. If you have a good feeling, go with it; if you do not, then don’t.

Yesterday, I met with a young woman who was representing herself, and she was doing a good job of it until her husband hired an attorney. She then came to see me. I know some of you are thinking, “Uh oh, they’re lawyering up.” Not really, she just needs to have peace that she will not be taken advantage of and only she can put a price on that. My counsel: do what is best for you and do not worry so much about what others think. Life is hard enough without making it harder.

Read an interesting quote yesterday that someone posted in response to the death of journalist Peter King’s brother, “My favorite quote from Paul Bowles comes from The Sheltering Sky: “But because we don’t know, we get to think of life as an inexhaustible well. Yet everything happens a certain number of times, and a very small number, really. How many more times will you remember a certain afternoon of your childhood, some afternoon that’s so deeply a part of your being that you can’t even conceive of your life without it? Perhaps four or five times more. Perhaps not even. How many more times will you watch the full moon rise? Perhaps twenty. And yet it all seems limitless.”

What does this mean in the context of what I have been saying? I think it captures the essence of what I believe, which is that we all experience hard times but we must remember the journey. Life is hard without unnecessarily making it harder. Get help when you need it.

Last note. Dependency exemptions in Colorado are determined by agreement of the parties; however, if the parties cannot agree then the Court will award them proportionally based upon each parent’s contribution to the combined gross income of the two parents. So, in plain English what that means is that if the total combined income of the parties is $100 and Dad earns $75 he will be able to claim the kids 3 of every 4 years. This is an oversimplification, but it gives the general rule. Oh, and under Colorado law, you have to be current on child support before you can claim any child exemptions.-      Bill Moller

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