Sometimes the matter of being able to claim a child for tax purposes is a hotly debated item in a divorce or other custody case. It is an issue that can have major financial implications, so consider it carefully. Under IRS regulations, the parent who has the child more than half of the year will be the one to claim the child for tax purposes. This person is considered to be the custodial parent. However, the right to claim a child for tax purposes can be allocated to the non-custodial parent (i.e. the parent having the child less than half of the year). If this is the case, then make sure your Parenting Plan directs the custodial parent to sign IRS Form 8332 by a specific date each year. This form is what allows a non-custodial parent to be able to claim the exemption.
For more information on this topic, please consult a qualified attorney or accountant.
Prepared by Ann R. Littell Mills, Attorney