Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Taxes and Child Custody: Who Can Claim the Child as a Dependent? (And Other Exemption Questions)

When it comes to your taxes,
who gets to claim the child
on their tax return as a dependent
when you're divorced or separated?
Whether you're in the middle of a divorce, already have the decree, or are separated from your ex, you may find you have a number of questions in regards to how you'll be filing your income taxes from here on out.  I'm Dennis Gac, and as an advocate for fathers' rights, I hear a lot of questions and horror stories about how come tax time, no one wants to follow the rules in regards to claiming a child as a dependent and filing as Head of Household on their taxes.  Here is a list of the most common questions I receive regarding taxes and child custody.  Click on each question to be led to the post with the answer and explanation as to what should be done in each situation.


I have a court order saying that I have the right to claim the tax deduction on my child even though I'm the non-custodial parent, but the IRS tax laws state that the person that the child stays with more than half the year (in my case, the custodial parent) receives the tax deduction.  Which rule do I follow?

There is no court order in regards to who gets to claim our children on their taxes each year.  IRS code states that the custodial parent (or the parent with whom the child lives with) automatically receives the tax deduction.  What happens if I have no court order regarding who gets to claim the child, and I have joint physical custody of my children?

I am in the middle of a divorce right now with my wife, and plan on filing married, filing separately for taxes.  If we don't have a court order as to who gets to claim the child on their taxes, how do we determine who gets the tax credit for my son?

Does the custodial parent automatically get the tax deduction for children each year?

Are child support payments tax deductible?

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?

What is the IRS Form 8332 and what would I need it for?

I receive child support payments from my ex.  Do I have to claim this on my taxes as income?

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