Mothers Of Lost Children – Indiana

Support for Noncustodial Indiana Moms

Archive for January 2009

Tax Questions for Noncustodial Moms

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I found this on a blog this morning, and may help answer questions you have about tax time.

Can I claim Head of Household? My husband has custody of our children but I pay child support and they live with me part of the time.

Posted by Kathy Howell, IRS Tax Specialist, Community Blogger <!– khowell –>January 20, 2009 09:58AM

Question from Sandy
January 18, 209 at 6:11am


My ex-husband has custody of our two children, I pay him child support and the kids live with me 50% of the time.
Can I file as head of household even though he gets to claim them as depen-dants?

Answer: Sandy – In order to file as Head of Household your home must be the main home of your child for more than half the year. Generally because of the residency test a child of divorced parents is the qualifying child of the custodial parent – which I guess is your husband.
In these cases the custodial parent may give the non-custodial parent the dependency exemption for one or both children. The non-custodial parent may claim the Child Tax Credit but would not qualify for any other tax credit or deduction or the Head of Household filing status.

The custodial parent would file as Head of Household and claim the credit for child and dependent care expenses and the earned income credit if he qualifies.

In order for him to allow you to claim one of both of your children he can give you a wrriten declaration that he says he will not claim the child or children as dependents for the year and you would attach that to your return. He can use Form 8332, Release of Claim to Exemption for Child by Custodial Parent. to accomplish this or just a written statement. Beginning in tax year 2009 you must use that form.

For addtional information or forms you can visit to view, download, print or order IRS forms and publications or you can call (800) 829-3676 to have them mailed to you.

Written by mothersoflostchildren

January 23, 2009 at 4:33 pm

Prevail Program for Children of Domestic Violence Receives Legacy Fund Grant

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Prevail, Inc. has received a grant from the Legacy Fund for its Exploring My World Children’s Program. The grant is a 1:1 match which guarantees one dollar matched for every dollar that Prevail contributes to the program up to $10,000.

The Exploring My World Children’s Program is a 10-week support group for children ages 6 to 11. Held at the Prevail office in Noblesville, the group focuses on issues related to domestic violence including family/gender roles, feelings, conflict resolution, boundaries, safety planning, and self-esteem. This is an on-going program and is offered free-of-charge. Attendees may join at anytime during the program and may repeat it, if needed.

Children may participate in the group if their parent or guardian attends Prevail’s Domestic Violence support group for women held on either Monday or Thursday nights. Monday’s group for adults and children begins at 6:00 p.m. and Thursday’s group begins at 6:30. Each session meets for two hours and children will receive a healthy snack.

To register for the Exploring My World Children’s Program, please contact Brittany Winebar at (317) 773-6942 Ext. 119 to schedule an interview and assessment.

Sharon Smith is with APR, Maverick Public Relations, for Prevail, Inc. Contact Smith at (317) 506-7982 or email

Written by mothersoflostchildren

January 23, 2009 at 4:09 am

Miami County Judge Publically Admonished by Indiana for Awarding Child Custody to Father Without Telling Mother

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The Indiana Commission on Judicial Qualifications has issued a Public Admonition against Judge Daniel C. Banina, Miami Superior Court Judge. Judge Banina is being admonished for a February 2007 incident in which he admits to violating the Code of Judicial Conduct and basic due process requirements for emergency orders.

The Commission admonishes Judge Banina for granting an ex parte petition. That means the order was granted for the benefit of one party without notice given to another interested party. Ex parte communications are generally barred to ensure every person with a legal interest in a proceeding has the right to be heard.

The petition Judge Banina granted was for temporary custody of a child. The circumstances surrounding the petition relate to a mother and father who were divorced but living together. The couple had a child together, but that child was under the sole custody of the mother. The petition was granted in favor of the father without prior notice given to the mother.

In January 2007, the mother decided to move from the home and take the child with her. The father and police intervened and demanded that she leave the child with the father. In February 2007, the father’s attorney filed an emergency petition for his client to receive temporary custody of the child.

On February 2, 2007 Judge Banina issued an Order granting temporary custody to the father. Judge Banina set a hearing for March 27, 2007. Instead, Judge Banina should have ensured that the mother had notice of the petition and the Judge should have held a hearing to resolve any custody dispute.

The Order violated Canons 1, 2, and 3 of the Code of Judicial Conduct. The Canons require judges to ensure the fairness, impartiality, and integrity of the judiciary. The order also violated Canon 3B(8), which forbids ex parte contacts absent a true emergency. Even in a true emergency the person is entitled to a hearing within 10 days of the ex parte Order.

The Commission now admonishes Judge Banina for violating the Code of Judicial Conduct and the laws of the State. Judge Banina will not formally be charged with ethical misconduct. He cooperated fully with the Commission in this matter and acknowledges he violated the Code of Judicial Conduct.

Written by mothersoflostchildren

January 21, 2009 at 1:49 pm

A Great List of Steps to Protect Yourself from Further Abuse

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15 Steps to Freedom from Abuse

By Jackie Gately

According a US Department of Justice study, 75% of law enforcement calls for domestic abuse assistance occur after separating from batterers. The risk to personal safety escalates once an abusive relationship ends. Consider taking these steps to increase your protection.

  1. If there is reason to believe you will be stalked or your personal safety is at risk, the local police station can issue an emergency restraining order that includes your home and work.  
  2. If you believe your children are at risk, extend the order to schools. Provide supporting paperwork to school officials.  
  3. If you must drop-off or pick-up children for visitation, do so at a pre-arranged, public place. Keep your car doors locked. Ways to prevent domestic violence
  4. If approached by your batterer, don’t get out of the car or even roll the window down more than a few inches. Better still, drive away.  
  5. Let neighbors know what’s going on and use their curious nature to your advantage: welcome the extra pair of eyes making sure you’re safe.  
  6. Inform neighbors, co-workers and children to call 911 if they see the batterer near your home or work.  
  7. Install a GPS tracking device in your car so someone you trust knows where you are at all times.  
  8. Carry a cell phone. If you can’t afford one, contact The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence for a phone equipped with 911 service.  
  9. Avoid places where you expect your batterer to be. Likewise, don’t advertise your whereabouts to avoid an unexpected visit.  
  10. Keep house doors and windows locked, including back doors and garage entrances.  
  11. Don’t accept or respond to the batterers phone calls, emails or text messages. Interacting invites the cycle of violence to begin again.  
  12. Keep pepper spray handy. A spray to the face and eyes might provide the moment you need to escape an unwelcomed visit. Pepper spray is legal in all fifty states, but check about specific laws regarding purchase, possession, and use.  
  13. Keep a phone by your bedside to call for help if you wake up to a home invasion or suspect entry.  
  14. Get a house alarm or a dog to alert you to visitors.  
  15. Some states, including Colorado, Florida, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Utah, and Washington, allow electronic monitoring as part of a restraining order. A GPS tracking device alerts authorities if a batterer enters a restricted zone. 

Jackie Gately is a freelance writer. She can be reached at


Written by mothersoflostchildren

January 15, 2009 at 2:36 am

Need Legal Help?

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The Indianapolis Bar Association offers several programs developed to assist with legal questions.

  • Legal Advice Hotline: 8:30 am to 4:30 pm Monday through Friday.  $35.00 for a 20 minute phone consultation with an attorney.  Call 317-269-2222.
  • Free Legal Line: Need a simple legal question answered?  Call the second Tuesday of the month, between 6:00 pm and 8:00 pm.  Dial 317-269-2000 and talk with an Indianapolis attorney.
  • Free Lawyer Referral Service:  No charge for the referral…lawyer will discuss fee arrangements with you.  Call 317-269-2222.

Written by mothersoflostchildren

January 1, 2009 at 3:09 am