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Taxes After Divorce – Who can claim the child or children as a dependency exemption?

Child Tax Exemption and Tax Returns.

What does your divorce decree say about the child tax exemption?

Your divorce decree or child custody agreement probably divides up the tax exemption. Often in Ohio this is alternated every other year – one parent may claim the child on odd tax years and the other parent may claim the child on even tax years. The decree often states the claiming parent must be current on any child support obligation in order to claim the tax exemption on their year.

What does the IRS say about claiming a child as a dependent after divorce?

The federal government does not honor divorce decrees on this matter. If the one parent files first and claims the child (or children) as a dependent, then it will subject to the rules of IRS. The IRS has their own rules relating to who may claim the child as an exemption and it may not be in line with your court order. Publication 504 explains the IRS regulations for claiming a child as dependent when parents are divorced. If you are in this situation it is important to contact a tax professional to determine if there is a remedy available with the IRS.

If this matter is important to you make sure it is properly addressed in your divorce decree to help avoid later problems.  If you have issues or concerns related to claiming your child or children as tax exemptions or for the child tax credit after divorce, call a Cincinnati Family Law Attorney for help.

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