There are many fine details that must be worked through when parents in Kentucky are creating a child custody plan. Of course, parents must work out a plan as to where the child will live and what types of visitation rights will be enjoyed by the noncustodial parent. Parents will also need to decide who will have the child at what holidays and over summer vacation. Yet, one detail that is also important, especially when tax time rolls around, is who will claim the child as a dependent.
Both parents cannot claim the child as a dependent after they divorce. In many cases, it is the custodial parent that has the right to claim the child as a dependent on that parent's taxes. In fact, federal rules state that whichever parent has custody over the child for the greater amount of time will be the parent that can claim the dependent child deduction.
However, sometimes the court determines that it is best for the parent who does not have custody of the child to claim the child as a dependent. Some factors the court may consider include the amount of child support being paid, each parent's income and what tax consequences each party may face. There are specific forms from the Internal Revenue Service that must be filled out and signed in order for this to happen.
Joint custody situations may become more complicated when it comes to claiming the child as a dependent. Sometimes, parents will take turns doing this. For example, the child's mother may be granted it one year while the child's father will be granted it the following year.
It is understandable why each parent would want to be able to claim their child as a dependent on their taxes. Therefore, it is important for this issue to be worked out ahead of time, as there can be negative consequences if each parent tries to claim the child as a dependent in the same year. Since this post does not provide readers with legal advice, those who want more information on this topic may want to enlist the services of a Kentucky family law attorney.
Source: Legal Aid Network Of Kentucky, "Who claims the child as a dependent for tax purposes?," accessed July 6, 2015