Who Claims Child on Taxes with Joint Custody

Who Claims Child on Taxes with Joint Custody

If you are divorced from, or divorcing, the other parent of your child or children, deciding who claims the kids as dependents at tax time can be contentious. Learn more about how courts in Alabama decide which parent has this privilege.

Can My Ex Claim My Children on Their Taxes?

In the best-case scenario, this issue is decided during your mediation or by the judge in a custody case and put in writing so there’s no question of who should claim your children as dependents. One common solution when parents have joint custody is to alternate years; one parent claims the kids on the odd-numbered years, the other on the even years. Another option for those with more than one child is to “split the children” when it comes tax time. For example, in a situation where a divorcing couple has two children, the mother could claim one child as a dependent; and the father would claim the other child.

What Do I Need to Claim My Child on Taxes?

In addition to ensuring that you and your spouse have a written agreement about who should claim your child(ren) as dependents at tax time, anyone claiming a child as a dependent must meet additional requirements. A child must live with the parent for 50 percent of the year or more to be claimed as a dependent. That means that if the children live with one parent for most of the time, that parent should claim them as dependents. 

If one parent has primary custody but agrees to share the right to claim the children as dependents on federal taxes, the IRS rules require the custodial parent to sign a release of exemption claim form, IRS Form 8332, and append it to his or her tax return for that year. If this is done, the custodial parent also may not claim the child tax credit for that child.

Contact Our Child Custody Attorneys in Huntsville to Help File Your Taxes!

If you need a lawyer to advocate for you during your divorce or child custody proceedings, contact the experienced Huntsville family law attorneys at New Beginnings Family Law, P.C.

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