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Dependent when parents are divorced, separated or live apart!!

Claiming a child as a dependent when parents are divorced, separated or live apart

To avoid errors, make taxes easier and faster processing of returns, there are specific rules for claiming the child tax credit for the parents who are divorced, separated, never married or live apart and who share custody of a child with an ex-spouse or ex-partner.

Only one person, who meets the qualifying child rules, may be eligible to claim the qualifying child as a dependent. Two people can’t split up the tax benefits for their child on their returns.

Return processing will be delayed if two people claim the same child on different tax returns as IRS takes time to determine which parent’s claim takes priority.

Custodial parents, with whom the child lived for a greater number of nights during the year, can claim the qualifying child as a dependent on their return. If the child lived with both parents for equal nights, the custodial parents will be parents with a higher adjusted gross income.

Noncustodial parents may be eligible to claim a qualifying child provided the custodial parent has released the dependency exemption and signed a written declaration or filed Form 8332 for the noncustodial parent. This can be applied for limited tax benefits, like a child tax credit, additional child tax credit, and credit for other dependents but doesn’t apply to other tax benefits, such as earned income credit, dependent care credit or HOH filing status.


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