The parties to a divorce had two children. The parties had an agreed order. The order gave the tax exemptions for both children to mom. She had those two exemptions for three years.  2012, 2013, and 2014.

Dad went back to court. He said it was his turn to have the two tax exemptions for three years.  Then they could each have one exemption.

The court now gave the two tax exemptions for the children to dad. It was already November, 2015. The court order did not specifically say that dad got the whole year of 2015. Or if he was to instead get the two exemptions starting tax year 2016.

For the 2015 year the order was entered, mom went ahead and filed her taxes with these two exemptions. Now they are back in court again. The court started out by saying that the order was not specific when dad was to start. The court ended by stating that mom got the exemption for the year of the order, 2015. Dad was to start the next year.

That meant that mom got four years, and then dad was to have three years. Not fair.  Dad appealed.

The Appellate Court noted that dad had filed his Petition about getting the tax exemptions earlier in the 2015 year. It took until the end of the 2015 year to sort it out. Dad had originally asked for that whole 2015 year, not just the coming year.

Dad had also asked that the matter be decided before the next tax return was due to be filed. 2015’s tax return would be filed by April, 2016.

If he had asked for the coming 2016 year, he would not have gotten the exemptions until April, 2017.  He would have had to wait until a year and a half later.  Not fair.

In re Marriage of Watkins, 2017 IL App (3d) 160645.