|Posted by CM Whitener on August 8, 2013 at 12:00 AM|
- Dependency exemption for the child,
- Child tax credit,
- Head of household filing status,
- Credit for the child and dependent care expenses, and
- Exclusion for dependent care benefits.
Children of divorced or separated parents(or parents who live apart). In most cases, because of the residency test, a child of divorced or separated parents is the qualifying child of the custodial parent. However, the child will be treated as the qualifying child of the noncustodial parent if all four of the following statements are true.
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, orc. Lived apart at all times during the last 6 months of the year, whether or notthey 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 is 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. If the decree or agreement went into effect after 2008, see Post-2008 divorce decree or separation agreement, later.)
b. A pre1985 decree of divorce or separate maintenance or written separation agreement that applies to 2012 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.
The IRS further provides tests to determine what level of support a parent provided during the taxable year. (Page 15 of this document has a worksheet to determine your level of support.). If a noncustodial parent meets the special rules for a shared child, he (or she), may claim the child for certain specific tax purposes (an exemption and the child tax credit), but not those with a residencey requirement such as head of household filing status, the credit for child and dependent care expenses, the exclusion for dependent care benefits, or the earned income credit.
The custodial parent has the presumptive right to claim tax benefits of a qualifying child. However, those rights may be waived for a specific tax year or multiple tax years with form 8332: Release/Revocation of Release of Claim to Exemption for Child by Custodial Parent.
If you have specific questions with respect to child custody and child support issues contact an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction. The information provided in this North Carolina law site blog is for educational purposes only.