25 February 2014 0 Comments

Can I claim my child on my taxes?

Follow Us

Now that tax season is upon us, I have a question. My husband and I have been divorced for almost a year, and our children live with me. Can I claim my children as dependents when I file my taxes?

In the case of divorced, separated, or never married parents, only one parent can claim each child as a dependent. Typically, it is the custodial parent who is legally able to claim his or her child as a dependent as per Section 152 (e) of the Federal Tax Code that provides that the custodial parent is generally entitled to the personal exemption for the qualifying child.

To be a qualifying child, you must satisfy the following:

  • The child must be under the age of 19 at the end of the tax year
  • The child must be your biological, adopted, step or foster child
  • The child must have lived with you for more than half the year
  • You must have provided more than half of the child’s support during the tax year

If you are the custodial parent, chances are you are entitled to the tax exemption unless you have agreed to allow your spouse to claim the child on his or her taxes. Review your divorce decree or separation agreement to be sure.

Keep in mind that the IRS does not allow for a single exemption to be divided between the two parties in the same year. If you share physical custody of your children on an equal or almost equal basis, you should have an agreement as to handle the income tax exemption(s). If you cannot agree, the IRS will decide for you based on your Adjusted Gross Income.

However, there are some exceptions in which a custodial parent could forfeit his or her right to claim the children as dependents by filing Form 8332 – Release/Revocation of Release of Claim to Exemption for Child by Custodial Parent.

In situations where custody is shared equally, the Internal Revenue Service uses what are known as “tiebreaker rules for claiming dependents” to determine which parent is eligible to claim the children as dependents.

While every situation is unique, if you have questions regarding claiming your child as your dependents, contact the experienced lawyers at the family law offices of Holstrom, Sissung, Marks & Anderson for the answers you need.

Comments are closed.