Who Claims a Child as Dependent on Taxes After Divorce?

Claiming dependent children on taxes can offer certain tax breaks, including earned income credit, child or dependent tax credit, and a favorable filing status. If you were recently divorced, however, you may be wondering if you still have the right to claim your children as dependents. Continue reading to learn more.

Claiming Dependent Children After a Divorce

As a general rule, the custodial parent typically claims the dependents. A custodial parent is the parent with whom the children spend more than half of the year. If you are the noncustodial parent, you might be able to claim your children if you provided half of their support. Noncustodial parents may also claim dependents if it is stated in the divorce decree.

If your divorce decree does not state which party may claim dependents, tiebreaker rules may come into play:

  • If the children spend the most time with you, you may claim them on your taxes
  • If the children spend an equal amount of time with both parents, the parent who earns the highest adjusted gross income may claim them

If both parents attempt to claim their children on their taxes, the one that files first will be accepted. Therefore, if there are doubts between you and your former spouse regarding who can claim the children, you should discuss the matter to ensure you are on the same page.

Custodial parents have the right to revoke their ability to claim dependents. If you would like to release your dependency claim, you can sign Form 8332 on your tax return, so your former spouse can claim the dependents.

As challenging as child custody may be, filing a tax return does not have to be complicated in the aftermath of a divorce.

Discuss the Details of Your Case with Our Knowledgeable Family Law Attorney

At Kay Polk, Attorney at Law, our family law team can assist you with some of the most delicate legal matters you may face, including child custody. Since 2000, our law firm has fought on behalf of families and guided them through their family law matters. You can rely on us to fight tirelessly to secure the best possible results for your case.

Reach out to our law office today at (713) 234-6260 to request an initial case evaluation with our experienced attorney to get started on your case.