If you are divorced, separated, or simply not living with the person with whom you have a child, deciding who gets to claim the child as a dependent for tax purposes can be rather tricky. Only one of you is entitled to claim the dependent exemption for a child each year, and the IRS keeps a close eye on Social Security numbers to enforce this regulation. Here is a brief explanation of which parent gets to claim the child as a dependent in Oklahoma. To find out more detailed information, contact a skilled family law attorney in Sapulpa.
Couples often decide between themselves who will claim the child as a dependent. As a general rule, you need to provide at least 50 percent of a child’s support during a given year if you want to claim the child as a dependent on your taxes for that year. If you and the other parent cannot work this out amongst yourselves, the court will make the decision for you based on criteria applicable to the following three scenarios:
The custodial parent, or parent who had custody the longest during the year, is entitled to claim the child as dependent if: the parents are legally divorced, separated, did not live together for the last 6 months of the year, or possess a maintenance agreement; and more than half of the support for the child during the year came from one or both of the parents, and both parents had custody of the child for some time during the year.
- However, if the custodial parent waives his or her right to claim the dependent exemption in a divorce decree or separation agreement, the non-custodial parent can claim the child and receive the exemption.
- Alternately, the custodial parent can waive the right to the exemption by using IRS Form 8332, which then the non-custodial parent must attach to his or her tax return to receive the exemption. You may relinquish your right to the exemption for one or more years; but, when you do relinquish your right to receive the exemption, you also forfeit the Child Tax Credit for that year.
Whoever provides more than 50 percent support for the child during the year is entitled to claim the dependent exemption for that year if: the parents are unmarried, lived together for the last 6 months of the year, or do not have a written agreement concerning child support or child custody.
If the parents share custody and provide for the child on a 50/50 basis, the rules become much more complicated, and it can be difficult to determine who is entitled to the exemption. In this situation, the courts will make the decision based on what is in the overall best interest of the child. Should you want to know about what criteria is used in this scenario, you can consult IRS Publication 501, Exemptions, Standard Deduction, and Filing Information; or employ an experienced family law attorney to help you clarify the rules.
The parent who provides the greater part of support for the child (more than 50 percent), whom the IRS always assumes is the custodial parent or parent who has custody the longest, gets to claim the child as a dependent in Oklahoma. The IRS will, however, approve of agreements made to the contrary, if they are stated in a divorce decree or separation agreement, or if the custodial parent relinquishes the exemption on IRS Form 8332.
Confidential Consultation: Sapulpa Family Law Attorney
For a free consultation with a Sapulpa family law attorney, call the Wirth Law Office – Sapulpa attorney at (918) 248-0067 or toll-free at (888) 947-8452 or submit the question form at the top right of this page. Either way you reach out to us, we will promptly respond to your legal concerns about family law matters.