I have a somewhat complicated tax refund question. Hopefully I can explain it fairly simply and someone can help.
Here are the facts:
My ex-wife and I divorced in February of this year (2006).
Back during our first pre-trial conference it was decided that all financial debts and assets would be separated as of July 10, 2005 (date of "separation").
My ex-wife did not make any of her estimated tax payments for 2005.
Our Marital Settlement Agreement stipulated that I would be responsible for filing of the 2005 tax return, plus all additional taxes due up to $3,000. Any amount due over $3,000 would be paid 50/50 by both of us.
$1500 was put into a trust by me, to be dispersed to her upon final filing of the tax return, as if she OWED anything, it could come out of this money.
The Marital Settlment Agreement also states (under Divesting of Property Righst: Mutual Releases) - "Except as expressly provided in this Agreement, each party accepts the property herein in full satisfaction of all property rights and all obligations existing out of the martial relationship of the parties."
Here is the issue:
I filed our tax return jointly, and a tax refund was owed by both the State and Federal Government. A refund of roughly $1800 total was directly deposited to my account.
My ex-wife is now sending me letters saying that I owe half of the refund to my ex-wife.
Is this true? The Marital Settlement Agreement stipulated that I pay all taxes due, which I did. The way I look at it, I paid too much in taxes (as my withholdings were higher than they should have been), and the tax refund was simply a reimbursement for my overpayment in taxes.
Do I absolutely owe this money to her? Do I absolutely not? There is nothing mentioned in the Agreement saying what happens should there be a refund, but it DOES say that I am responsible for anything due up to an additional $3,000. It also states that she has no right to ask for any additional monies, as it was agreed in the Agreement that the Financial Disclosure Statements represented all marital property.
Should I pay her? Should I refuse to pay? What would happen if I don't pay? Is worst-case-scenario that she would have to take me to small-claims court?
I don't want to have to enlist the help of an attorney on this, as it would cost me more in legal fees than is worth it. On the other hand, I don't feel like handing over $900+ if it is unwarranted - this seems near harassment to me, as I have now received 4 letters regarding this matter.