Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Taxes and Child Custody: What to Do if Your Ex is Going to Claim Your Child on Taxes Against Court Orders

In my divorce decree and parenting plan for my children, the court ordered that I would get the tax exemption for my children each year.  My ex-wife is telling me that she is going to file before me and claim the children and head of household to get a bigger tax return.  What do I do?

When it comes to claiming children on taxes, any court order signed by a judge will overrule IRS tax codes.  IRS tax codes come into play if there is no court order regarding who claims the child on their taxes, or if the verbiage on the court order is unclear as to who gets the tax deduction.  Section 152 of IRS tax code covers how the tax exemption claim is determined if no court order is already in place for the parents to follow and abide by.

When claiming a child on your taxes, it is highly recommended that the other parent that is NOT claiming the child sign an 8332 IRS Form, which is the “Release of Claim to Exemption for Child of Divorced or Separated Parents.”  This is not required, but definitely makes it a little easier and lets the other parent know that they are giving up their rights to claim the child on their own taxes.

If you ex-wife ends up claiming the children on her taxes and you get a letter back from the IRS stating that you cannot claim your child because that Social Security number has already been claimed by someone else, then you could take a copy of that letter and file a motion through the courts for an order to show cause regarding contempt of court.  Your ex will then have to show cause as to why she violated the court order, and you will more than likely be compensated for what you lost out on from the claim and may even be compensated for the court costs and legal fees you incurred in order to bring the order to the courts.

For more questions and answers regarding taxes and child custody, click here!

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