There are financial benefits to claiming dependents, usually your children, on your tax return.
The IRS rules state the "custodial parent" is allowed to claim the children as dependents and is entitled to all child tax credits related to them. The Internal Revenue Code states that the parent with the majority of overnights in a given tax year is considered the "custodial parent".
If the parents share equal time or the non custodial parent provides more than 50% of the support for the child, the parents can agree or the Court can Order the exchange of the tax dependency exemptions. Please note that Florida law limits the ability to exchange the dependency exemption if one of the parents owes retroactive or back child support!
Can both parents claim a child on their taxes? No, this is a common misconception. Parents cannot "split the year" with a child. Only one person can claim a child and all of the child related credits (earned income credit, child care credit, etc.) for a particular calendar year.
If the "noncustodial parent" wants the option to be able to claim the child on their taxes, they must affirmatively ask for it in their paternity action pleadings or they waive their right to obtain the dependency exemption.
Please contact our office to schedule your free phone consultation to learn more!
Lakeisha R. Simms, Attorney at Law is a law firm practicing primarily in the areas of family law, small business law, and wills & estate planning. We service clients in their businesses and in our offices located in Hillsborough and Pinellas Counties.
This is intended for informational purposes and is not intended as legal advice or a substitute for hiring an attorney. Furthermore, by sharing this information, it is in no way intended to establish an attorney - client relationship with the reader.