Divorce can be complicated, and tax season can add additional stress. Determining who claims the children on taxes can be especially challenging for divorcing couples. Therefore, it’s important to understand your rights and responsibilities when claiming dependents in a divorce. Fortunately, some guidelines can help divorcing couples determine who should claim their kids on their taxes. This blog post will explore the rules and regulations of who can claim children on taxes during and after a divorce and how a Texas divorce attorney can help you through the process.
The General Rule
Under IRS rules, the custodial parent—the parent with whom the child resides the majority of the time—has the first right to claim the child as a dependent on their tax return. This applies regardless of whether the parents are divorced, unmarried, or have joint custody. The custodial parent will be entitled to the additional dependent exemption and any associated tax credits. The non-custodial parent usually doesn’t claim the child as a dependent.
Exceptions to the Rule
In certain circumstances, the custodial parent is not required to claim the children on their taxes. For example, if both parents sign Form 8332 and attach them to their tax returns, the non-custodial parent can claim the child. In addition, if the non-custodial parent earns more than the custodial parent and meets other IRS requirements, they may be able to claim the child as a dependent.
When There Are Multiple Children
When multiple children are involved in the divorce process, things can become a bit more complicated. Generally speaking, the custodial parent will be the one who claims all of the children on their taxes. However, the custodial parent and non-custodial parent can agree to split the children’s exemptions. Each parent would need to specify which children they are claiming and make sure that each of them meets the qualifying criteria for claiming them as dependents.
Head of Household Filing Status
Head of household filing status is a beneficial tax filing status for single or unmarried parents. This filing status allows for higher tax deductions, a lower tax rate, and an increased standard deduction. Single parents may also qualify for the Earned Income Credit with the head of household filing status.
Single parents may qualify for this status if they have a qualifying dependent, such as a child who lived with them for more than half the year, and if they paid more than half the cost of keeping up their home. In addition, single parents who file as head of household can claim a higher standard deduction than those filing as single or married filing separately. You could file as head of household if you meet all the following criteria:
- You’re unmarried or considered unmarried on the last day of the year
- You’ve paid more than half the cost of keeping up a home for the tax year
- A qualifying person lived with you for more than half the year (with some exceptions)
- You’re a U.S. citizen or resident alien for the entire tax year
How a Family Law Attorney Can Help
A Katy family law attorney can provide valuable advice when you’re filing taxes after a divorce. An experienced lawyer can review the facts of your case and provide guidance on how to handle the tax implications of the divorce, including who should claim the children as dependents and any special tax considerations. They can also help you understand the legal rights and obligations of being a divorced parent, such as child support and other financial matters. With their assistance, you can ensure that all relevant tax information is handled correctly and in accordance with Texas law.
Speak with a Texas Divorce Lawyer
If you have questions about taxes during or after a divorce, contact the knowledgeable family law attorneys of Adams Law Firm. A divorce attorney can help you understand the legalities of who is eligible for a tax deduction for the children and other financial considerations.
At Adams Law Firm, our experienced family law attorneys are well-versed in the laws surrounding divorce and taxes and can provide you with guidance and support. We can help you handle the complexities of filing taxes after a divorce, ensuring that your best interests are protected and your rights are respected. Contact us today by calling (281) 391-9237 and scheduling an initial consultation with one of our knowledgeable Katy divorce lawyers.
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