Attorney-at-Law

A DIVORCE MADE IN HEAVEN

In Uncategorized on 07/15/2021 at 19:38

Jacob Berger and Evelyn R. Berger, 2021 T. C. Memo. 89, filed 7/15/21, is the usual indocumentado with less-than-credible testimony. So I’ll bypass Jake’s cannabidiol operation with his late son.

The “good part,” as we used that term to categorize certain books in my middle school days, is the divorce agreement between Jake’s and Evelyn’s daughter Merav and her husband Mr. Moscovitch. You’ll not find something like this in a US court, but Merav and Mr. M. (and their offspring) were residents of Israel then. As I know nothing of the laws of that country, I cannot comment on whether similar deals are standard issue there.

Judge Nega: “The divorce agreement included a visitation arrangement, which provided for travel arrangements in the event that petitioners’ daughter moved to the United States with the children. Under the visitation arrangement, petitioners’ daughter would be required to pay for the children to travel to Israel twice a year to visit Mr. Moscovitch and for Mr. Moscovitch to travel to the United States three times a year to visit the children. With respect to Mr. Moscovitch’s travel, petitioners’ daughter was obliged to provide a roundtrip airplane ticket, lodging at a hotel of her selection, access to a vehicle, and a stipend of $100 per day for up to 14 days. In addition, petitioners’ daughter would be required to provide for three additional people, such as Mr. Moscovitch’s mother, his girlfriend, and his girl-friend’s son, to travel to the United States once a year. In the event that petitioners’ daughter or petitioners, who were also bound by the divorce agreement, could not fulfill these obligations, the visitation arrangement stated that petitioners’ daughter and the children would be required to return to Israel.

“At a time not specified in the record, petitioners’ daughter and her two children moved to the United States. During the years at issue petitioners’ daughter and her children lived with and were financially supported by petitioners. Because petitioners’ daughter was unable to fulfill her obligations under the visitation arrangement, petitioners provided the necessary financing on her behalf. As per the visitation arrangement, petitioners paid for the children to travel to Israel and for Mr. Moscovitch, Mr. Moscovitch’s mother, and Mr. Moscovitch’s girlfriend and her son to travel to the United States and petitioners provided the agreed-upon vehicle and stipend.” 2021 T. C. Memo. 90, at pp. 5-6.

I can hear several of my readers saying “I’ll make that deal, where do I sign?”

Exactly how daughter Merav and her nestlings were to be removed from the Land of the Free to the Land of Abraham, should they stay here and place Mr. M. and his entourage on the no-fly list, is nowhere stated, but I can hear my beloved Grandma saying “don’t ask.”

In any event, when Jake and Evelyn try to deduct what they paid Mr. M and entourage as alimony, they strike out. “A deduction for alimony under section 215 is permitted only to the obligor spouse; ‘[i]t is not allowed to * * * any other person who may pay the alimony obligation of such obligor spouse.’ Sec. 1.215-1(b), Income Tax Regs. Assuming, arguendo, that the obligations required under the visitation agreement constitute alimony, petitioners are not entitled under section 215 and the accompanying regulations to deduct any payments made on behalf of their daughter. Accordingly, the Court sustains respondent’s determinations to disallow the alimony deductions for the years at issue.” 2021 T. C. Memo. 90, at p. 26.

 

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