Which Parent Gets To Claim The Child On Their Taxes?

Child Tax Deductions

Custodial Parent Gets the Tax Exemption for the Child

Even though your divorce or custody case is in Michigan, IRS regulations control which parent gets to take the children on their taxes as a dependency exemptions after a divorce.  The general rule is that the custodial parent takes the children as exemptions. The custodial parent is the parent with whom the child lives a majority of the year. The other parent is the non-custodial parent.

When Can the Non-Custodial Parent?

Absent an agreement between the parents, the non-custodial parent can claim a child as a tax exemption on their return only if:     

1. The parents:          

     a. Are divorced or legally separated under a decree of divorce or separate maintenance,          

     b. Are separated under a written separation agreement, or          

     c. Lived apart at all times during the last 6 months of the year, whether or not they are or were married.     

2. The child received over half of his or her support for the year from the parents.     

3. The child is in the custody of one or both parents for more than half of the year.     

4. Either of the following statements are true:          

      a. The custodial parent signs a written declaration, discussed later, that he or she will not claim the child as a dependent for the year, and the noncustodial parent attaches this written declaration to his or her return. (If the decree or agreement went into effect after 1984 and before 2009, see Post-1984 and pre-2009 divorce decree or separation agreement , later.          

      b. If the decree or agreement went into effect after 2008, see Post-2008 divorce decree or separation agreement , later.)A pre-1985 decree of divorce or separate maintenance or written separation agreement that applies to 2013 states that the noncustodial parent can claim the child as a dependent, the decree or agreement was not changed after 1984 to say the noncustodial parent cannot claim the child as a dependent, and the noncustodial parent provides at least $600 for the child’s support during the year.

Equally Shared Parenting Time

If the parents equally share the parenting time during the year, the parent with the greater Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) gets the exemption.

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Chris McAvoy is a Michigan attorney who helps people with bankruptcy, family law, and estate planning. To find out more or set up an appointment, click here for contact info. Our attorneys help people in Taylor, Allen Park, Southgate, Lincoln Park, Riverview, Taylor,  Trenton, Flat Rock, Wyandotte, Brownstown, Belleville, Dearborn, Dearborn Heights, Westland, Garden City, Canton and the Downriver, Michigan area.

About Christopher McAvoy

I've been a lawyer since 1997 and I've seen a lot. We should talk. Not only do I have a lot of the answers, I will share them with you so you can make up your own mind. Chris McAvoy is a Taylor, Michigan attorney who helps people with bankruptcy, family law, and estate planning. To find out more or set up an appointment, click here for contact info. Our attorneys help people in Taylor, Allen Park, Southgate, Lincoln Park, Riverview, Trenton, Flat Rock, Wyandotte, Brownstown, Belleville, Dearborn, Dearborn Heights, and the Downriver, Michigan area.