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Divorce and Kids - Who Claims the Dependents on Your Taxes?

Posted on in Child Custody

Illinois divorce attorneysClaiming dependents on your taxes is usually a pretty straightforward process, but if your family has recently been through a divorce, things can be a little more complex. Given the significant impact that dependents can have on one’s tax status, it probably comes as no surprise that the matter can cause a great deal of strife between recently divorced parents. 

Normally, a divorce decree dictates who claims the dependents on their taxes, but disagreements and discrepancies can and do sometimes occur. There are also situations in which one parent may attempt to deprive the other of their right to claim the dependents on their taxes. Learn what can happen in these scenarios, and discover how our seasoned DuPage County divorce lawyers can help to clear up confusing matters involving your divorce. 

What Happens When Two Parents Try to Claim a Dependent?

If a divorce decree dictates who is supposed to claim the children, and both parents attempt to claim them, the matter is usually resolved by supplying the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) with proper documentation. However, if a decree does not exist, then the IRS has a series of tie-breaker rules that they use to determine who gets the credit. In order, these rules are:

  • Relationship to the child (parents take preference over non-parents, such as grandparents);
  • Residence of the child (whom does the child spend the most time with); and
  • When residency is the same, the income of the parents may be used to determine who gets the credit. The IRS tends to favor the parent with the highest adjusted gross income (AGI), provided they have provided more support to the child. 

Unique Dependent Situations 

Sometimes, divorce is not the issue because the parents do not qualify for the credit. An example might be a situation in which a parent is not working and living with the child’s grandparent. In this scenario, the grandparent may be eligible for the tax credit. However, this may only apply if the other parent does not qualify for the credit. 

When to Get a Seasoned Wheaton Family Attorney Involved 

The IRS does not handle disputes regarding dependents, but family law and tax law attorneys can help to clear up any confusion or issues involving your divorce and how it affects your current tax status. Contact Davi Law Group, LLC, where your best interest is a top priority. Call 630-580-6373 and schedule a personalized consultation with our DuPage County family law attorneys today.


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