Can we both claim our daughter on our taxes?

UPDATED: Sep 16, 2011

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Can we both claim our daughter on our taxes?

Me and my ex-wife have our daughter the same amount of time during the week. I was just wondering can only one person claim her or can both parents claim her on our taxes?

Asked on September 16, 2011 under Family Law, Maine


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

No, two different parents may not both claim the same child as a dependent on their taxes--a given child may only provide a tax break on a single tax filing.

The issue is not custody; the issue is financial support. Generally, unless allocated otherwise by court order or agreement, the parent who provides more than half the financial support is the one who can claim the child as a dependent for tax purposes, regardless of with whom the child spends most of his or her time.

If you and your ex-wife are equally responsible financially, then you will need to try to work this out or settle it between yourselves; but if one provides more support, than that the parent who should get the tax benefit.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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