Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Claiming a Child as a Dependent on Taxes

Q:  My ex and I have a court agreement where we have joint custody which states that our child lives with me during the day and he is dropped of to her at night. For the last few years, we've adjusted our schedule so that he lives with us half the week each each. It's a true shared custody. Our support papers, custody papers and divorce decree do not specify which parent is entitled to claim our child in taxes. I am the higher wage earner and per the IRS, in shared custody situations, the parent with the higher income is allowed to claim the child. My ex just told me she just claimed our daughter. Can I fight this claim with the IRS? even though our custody and visitation papers are not reflective of what we have been practicing? I have her on email agreeing to the shared custody. Thank you.

A:  David's Answer:  I would not advise to fight this claim with the IRS. Instead, I'd advise to get a modified order which reflects that each of you will alternate the deduction on odd-even years. Speak further with a Westchester Child Support lawyer.   -- David Bliven, Westchester Child Support attorney (www.blivenlaw.net)

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