Overlooking a minute detail in the Property Settlement Agreement (PSA) is by no means as minor as it may seem. It often results in much grief, wasted time, and squandered money – for both litigants, as well as taxpayers funding the judicial system. In Dawn Zera v. Kevin Krushinski, an incomplete PSA resulted in just that.
Dawn and Kevin were divorced in Jan. 2006. The judgment of divorce (JOD) failed to designate who could claim the children as dependents on his or her tax return. While the JOD ended the marriage, an ensuing nightmare was just beginning. More than six long, costly years of litigation later, on May 22, 2012, the NJ Supreme Court ruled that the parents alternate odd and even years.
The Moral: Divorcing spouses must scrutinize the PSA, making sure the lawyers covered everything. It is wise to have a tax accountant review the PSA for all tax issues. The investment of time and effort may spare you loads of grief.