Florida court doubles Marc Anthony’s child support payments


The world famous fashion designer and singer, Marc Anthony, has been ordered by a judge in Florida to pay more money for the support of his two children. He shares the children with his ex-wife, Dayanara Torres, who filed claims asking for an increase in child support payments from the singer. Instead of awarding her the 10-fold increase in child support that she requested, however, the judge ordered Anthony’s obligation to be doubled.

Dayanara Torres requested initially that the singer pay $123,426 per month in child support. However, on June 12, the judge ultimately increased Anthony’s $14,400 per month payments up to $26,800 instead. The singer’s ex-wife also claimed that he had neglected his children by spending just 35 days with them in 2013. Anthony argued that those numbers were not accurate. He also submitted court papers that show he spent 71 days with his kids in 2012.

The singer’s ex-wife filed her request for a child support increase in late 2013. As her reasoning for the increase, she sited changes in lifestyle and other financial child support needs. For example, she said that she required a housekeeper and a nanny, and this would cost at least $7,000 per month.

As per their initial divorce agreement, Anthony’s ex-wife was provided with the couple’s house in Florida, two cars and vacation money. In addition to the increase in child support, the judge further ordered Marc Anthony to increase his ex-wife’s annual vacation budget to $12,000 annually.

Changes to alimony and child support are not uncommon after a Florida divorce. If the financial circumstances of the receiving and/or paying spouse have changed, for example, a formal request can be made to the court in order to have payments adjusted to more accurately reflect the current financial circumstances of each spouse.

Source: Examiner, “Marc Anthony court order doubles his monthly child support payment to $26,800” Richard Webster, Jun. 13, 2014

Protesting dads bring attention to National Fatherless Day issues


A number of fathers recently gathered in Florida and at various venues across the nation to honor a new and unpopular holiday invented to bring attention to fathers’ rights. The day, which they have dubbed “National Fatherless Day,” occurs two days before the real Father’s Day. Men who gathered to bring attention to the Fatherless Day movement say that they are protesting against unfair family court systems.

Various studies provide evidence that children may suffer more anxiety and stress after a family court ruling favors one parent over the other. Activists are protesting for the change of family law codes in Florida and other parts of the nation in the hopes of bringing more equality to mothers and fathers when it comes to child custody, child support and alimony. According to one family law attorney, who has been in practice for approximately 30 years, more and more clients have been coming to him who want equal custody of their children. In many cases, this translates to one week and one week off parenting arrangements.

In Florida, a law that would have provided for these kinds of equal custody arrangements was not approved. Now, a number of unhappy fathers are gathering to speak out. One protestor said that divorcing parents must be careful about bringing their disagreements to court because it is possible that one of the parents could unfairly lose custody rights.

Indeed, when it comes to child custody decisions, it is preferable that parents resolve their differences outside of court wherever possible in order to avoid the risk and unpredictability of leaving such decisions in the hands of a Florida court of law. Divorce mediation may be one way that divorcing parents can reach agreement when circumstances are difficult. Nevertheless, in the case that court litigation is necessary, the matter must be handled carefully to try to ensure that both parents are equally treated under the law in the best interest of the child and/or children involved.

IRS finds errors in tax returns of alimony payers and recipients


A recent report has revealed numerous discrepancies in the tax filings of divorced spouses who are paying or receiving alimony. The Tax Administration’s Treasury Inspector General claims that ex-spouses who are paying alimony are not reporting the same as ex-spouses who are receiving alimony in many cases. The IRS will now be scrutinizing tax filings that involve alimony in Florida and the rest of the nation in order to identify discrepant tax forms.

When it comes to IRS tax return filings, those who are paying alimony have the right to deduct those payments from their total income. Conversely, those who receive the alimony payments must report the income on their own tax return.

In 2010, approximately 570,000 tax returns noted included deductions for alimony payments. The deductions totaled approximately $10 billion. However, about 47 percent of these deductions did not match the alimony income reported by the corresponding alimony recipient. Other errors found involved the inclusion of the alimony recipient’s social security number. When an alimony payer fails to include a tax identification number for the alimony recipient, it could result in fees as much as $50 for the alimony payer.

Those who have recently gone through a Florida divorce involving alimony may want to double check their alimony incomes and/or alimony payments before reporting them on IRS tax forms. Indeed, a mistake in this regard could inspire an audit from the IRS, especially given the fact that the federal government is now looking more closely at filings with an alimony component. A consultation with one’s divorce attorney, CPA or financial advisor could help identify any mistakes so that they can be reported immediately.