Stephen D. Hamilton

“What Do You Mean My Tax Returns Can’t Be Trusted” – Establishing Business Expenses After Marriage of Hein

Based on the precedent established in Marriage of Loh, for almost 20 years family law practitioners could rely on their client’s tax returns as being “presumptively correct” and establishing a starting point for the calculation of support. However, Marriage of Hein (2020) upended this well-established presumption. The Hein court concluded that, in the case of self-employed individuals who wholly own a business (or businesses), the burden of proving expenses reflected on tax returns falls upon “the self-employed parent who controls the corporations.” This program will address when Hein applies and how to satisfy the heightened evidentiary burden created by Hein for self-employed parents, as well as subsequent cases which have addressed the holding in Hein.