Who Gets to Claim the Children on Taxes?

In a custody case, one of the issues involved in many negotiations is who will get to claim the children as dependents on their income tax returns.  This is called the dependency exemption.  Children can be quite valuable when it comes to filing taxes and how much a person will owe or receive back as a refund.  Many clients, especially lower income clients who receive the Earned Income Tax Credit can receive thousands of dollars back which is more than several months of income from their job.

South Carolina Family Courts have the authority to determine which parent gets to claim the children on the income tax return (SC Code Ann. §20-3-130(F)); however, the Court will not be able to allocate or distribute this exemption unless it is specifically asked for or allowed to be tried as an issue without objection from both parties.

Typically, the custodial parent will be awarded the dependency exemption; however, if the non-custodial parent is allowed to claim the dependency exemption for one or all of the children, the custodial parent will be required to complete and execute IRS Form 8332 each year and that form must be included with the non-custodial parent’s tax return when he/she files it.

But what if you don’t have a court order – before anyone has filed for custody?  The IRS has a five part test for determining which parent may claim the dependency exemption:

  1. Relationship;
  2. Age;
  3. Residency;
  4. Support;
  5. Joint Return.

The Relationship test means that the dependent you are claiming is your son or daughter (natural or adopted), a foster child, brother, sister, half-brother, half-sister, or a descendent of any of them.

The Age test simply means that your child is under age 19 at the end of the year and younger than you (or your spouse) or they are a student under the age of 24 at the end of the year and younger than you or your spouse.  Finally, regardless of age, you may claim a child if they are permanently and totally disabled.

To meet the requirements of the Residency test, your child must have lived with you for more than half the year. There are some exceptions for temporary absences such as illness, education, military service, or vacation.

The Support Test requires that you provided at least one-half of your child’s support for the year and the child did not provide more than one-half of his/her support for the year.  Most of the time this is not an issue; however, if your child works and earns enough income to support himself/herself, then you may lose this credit.

The Joint Return test means that the child cannot file a joint return for the year.

Tie Breakers

Absent a Family Court Order outlining who can claim the children, it is entirely possible that both parents would qualify to claim the child as a qualifying dependent using the dependency exemption.  So who would get to claim the child in that case?

  • If the parents do not file a joint return together but both parents claim the child as a qualifying child, the IRS will treat the child as the qualifying child of the parent with whom the child lived for the longer period of time during the year. If the child lived with each parent for the same amount of time, the IRS will treat the child as the qualifying child of the parent who had the higher adjusted gross income (AGI) for the year.
  • If no parent can claim the child as a qualifying child, the child is treated as the qualifying child of the person who had the highest AGI for the year.
  • If a parent can claim the child as a qualifying child but no parent does so claim the child, the child is treated as the qualifying child of the person who had the highest AGI for the year, but only if that person’s AGI is higher than the highest AGI of any of the child’s parents who can claim the child. If the child’s parents file a joint return with each other, this rule can be applied by dividing the parents’ combined AGI equally between the parents.


  1. Have managers or peers come together; mix various management levels.
    Whenever you resolve to pay out a few dead presidents on anti aging products,
    keep an eye out for the following details. She’s having light bologna with mustard
    and 2% American cheese this week. They may learn how to establish a rapport with animals, develop a love of outdoor
    activity and discover a new hobby. Top accredited boarding schools are ideal for teens that have collective
    and emotional behavior problems. There is various football kicking camps that include huge sponsors and a variety of coaches from immaturity sports to college would be giving
    lectures. Many outdoor camps have specific activities as their
    focal point. While shooting lakes, try to catch the reflection of rocks or
    mountains or even your tent in the calm waters. Try to stick close
    to them and help them break right through the perimeter.
    One of the most successful techniques employed by these camps is the use of health spas.

  2. Advanced Plastic Surgery is here to celebrate beauty with
    its state of the art facilities and innovative services such as dermabrasion, BOTOX Cosmetic, body surgeries,
    and the latest Vi – Peel. Calvert states, it requires a great deal of planning and preparation, as well as a lengthy recovery time (a three to five
    week hospital stay, with about six weeks of home rest prior to returning to
    work). The couple broke up in 1937 as Lamarr finally escaped to London by drugging him.

  3. Face lift involves procedures to smooth out wrinkles and lines by surgically
    tightening the skin of the face. Just like other facilities, medical facilities at Salt Lake City are quite advance and it has
    been serving different needs of the patients for the past many years.

    You also need to think about the recovery process and the ways it might affect your daily life
    and work.

  4. Under the bonnet, Audi claims the new facelifted A4 will
    be offered with a range of engines that is 11 percent more fuel efficient than the current
    generation, despite a significant increase in power and torque output.
    Laser procedures are also used to diminish the emergence of age spots and
    wrinkles and also to resurface your skin. This will give an assurance that the treatment which has offered is effective and suitable for you.

  5. Read on further and get to know that whether
    moving companies are putting substantial amount of effort and hard work to fulfill the needs of
    their customers and satisfying them in a best manner.
    Some of the heavy stuffs like piano create real
    problem for the removers. help you avoid pitfalls
    like this and find a real relationship.

  6. Much less pleasant but equally essential is understanding expertise these kinds of as cleansing
    dentures, feeding individuals, having temperatures and
    measuring catheter output, all of which totally
    get ready students for the expertise evaluation test.
    Purchase shampoo or other hair care products that are meant specifically for people with thinning hair.
    Such devices as KTP, ERBIUM, Pulse DYE and Alexandrite have short length of laser light waves, and
    they are very effective for removing unwanted hair on a
    light colored skin.

  7. It is an unfortunate irony that many “nutritional” products
    people take to improve their appearance have the side
    effect of causing them to go bald. They use a multi-therapeutic approach, trying
    to win the war on hair loss by using every possible angle.
    Speaking of ball game, do you know that you can advertise using your bald head.

  8. – perifolliculum – cirumferential band of fine adventitial collagen that defines the unit.
    The answer is what type of diet allows you as you age to produce enough hydrochloric acid to digest your food properly so the fermenting
    food in your stomach doesn’t cause other degenerative and
    inflammatory-related diseases. Hair loss is something that affects millions of people all over the world, and it can be a very embarrassing problem for many.

  9. Even frequent blow-drying at extreme heat or brushing obsessively can cause
    your hair to become extremely fragile causing it to break and fall out.
    To get hair loss reviews for both male as well as female hair loss
    treatments along with extensive advice ensure that you visit is a fellow sufferer
    of hair loss and highly recommends the revolutionary
    Hair – Max Laser Comb to stop thinning hair.
    Your hair protected the top of the head from the elements.

  10. laser eye surgery in gwalior 1w laser eye damage
    laser eye surgery feedback under eye surgery cost canada eye institute scott and white
    eye q optical barbados freevis lasik zentrum mannheim


  1. find out more about: natural acne treatment product

    Who Gets to Claim the Children on Taxes?

  2. hyperpigmentation removal cream

    Who Gets to Claim the Children on Taxes?

Speak Your Mind