In a divorce, who gets to claim the children on their tax return?

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In a divorce, who gets to claim the children on their tax return?

My ex husband wants to claim 1 of our 2 children on his taxes. I have full physical custody and no where in our divorce documents does it say who claims the children. Do I get to claim them both?

Asked on January 4, 2012 under Family Law, Arizona

Answers:

Stephanie Squires / SquiresLegal Services

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

In California, the answer is the parent with whom the children primarily reside, unless a court order says differently.  If you each have the children in your homes an equal amount of time, and that arrangment is in a written order, then you could each claim one child.  However, if your orders or judgment do not specify who is to claim the children, and your orders/judgment states that the children live with you more than 50% of the time, the IRS will accept that you have the right to claim them both.  You might consider having this issue clarified and made part of an order to prevent any issues with the IRS.


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