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Non Custodial Parent has Dependent Tax Exemption

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  • Non Custodial Parent has Dependent Tax Exemption

    1995 Divorce Decree indicates non custodial parent would be granted right to claim youngest child as a dependent for tax purposes; in other paragraphs, decree includes requirements for child support (no age restriction) and medical insurance to be provided by non custodial parent and no time limit was indicated. Now, when the child above turned 18, the child support payments from the non custodial parent ended. Currently, the child is 20 and full time college student with zero support from the non custodial parent. Question is can the custodial parent now begin to claim this child as a dependent tax exemption to include Education Tax Credit without being in jeapardy of breaching the divorce decree? If so, what if any actions do I need to take before claiming this child again on my tax return?

  • #2
    Re: Non Custodial Parent has Dependent Tax Exemption

    I wish to inform you that correct position can be determined after reading judgment as a whole. In this regard when judgment states that child can be claimed as dependent by non custodial parent then non custodial parent can claim child on tax deductions because then payment of child support is not a condition for tax exemption. Further the condition of tax exemption is that non custodial parent will claim child as dependent and in your case you are non custodial parent.

    AFF

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    • #3
      Re: Non Custodial Parent has Dependent Tax Exemption

      The court order for child support is applicable until the child is an adult or the term governed by the order ends. It is based on the theory non custodial parent will be providing more than half of childs support. Once child becomes and adult and is no longer supplied child support, the terms generally no longer meet IRS requirements to claim a the person as a dependent. The IRS has clear guidelines, which must be met in order to claim an adult child as a dependent. It then becomes possible neither parent can legally claim the now adult child. Refer to IRS dependent guidelines.
      Due to a recent promotion, I should now be referred to as Major Obvious.

      I would not be trying to provide information and knowledge if I did not sympathize.

      Some days it is just not worth chewing through the restraints to face life.

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      • #4
        Re: Non Custodial Parent has Dependent Tax Exemption

        If ages and limits are not specified in the order, then you would have to go by your state's guidelines, which vary. Some states continue until 22 if the child is a full-time student.

        Contact your local child support enforcement or collection unit and they may be able to give you that info.

        If it's 22, or something along those lines, then the non-custodial parent would have to continue to provide support, but they would also be allowed to claim the exemption as well.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Non Custodial Parent has Dependent Tax Exemption

          Disagreeable I assure you "adult" children often remain dependents for quite some time, even in the eyes of the IRS.

          OP since 1995 was there never a modification to the child support order? If not you need to confirm the age support ends in your state.

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          • #6
            Re: Non Custodial Parent has Dependent Tax Exemption

            Originally posted by goddessoflubboc View Post
            Disagreeable I assure you "adult" children often remain dependents for quite some time, even in the eyes of the IRS.

            OP since 1995 was there never a modification to the child support order? If not you need to confirm the age support ends in your state.
            I was referring to parent not paying child support as not providing more than half the adult childs support. This is a requirement to claim the child on your taxes.
            Due to a recent promotion, I should now be referred to as Major Obvious.

            I would not be trying to provide information and knowledge if I did not sympathize.

            Some days it is just not worth chewing through the restraints to face life.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Disagreeable View Post
              I was referring to parent not paying child support as not providing more than half the adult childs support. This is a requirement to claim the child on your taxes.
              Actually the requirement is that the child not provide more than half their own support. Subtle but different.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Non Custodial Parent has Dependent Tax Exemption

                Child support ended at age 18 by non custodial parent at majority age. Now that child is in college and no longer receives any child support from non custodial parent, would like to claim the child as a dependent by custodial parent who provides 100% of support. Does this sound like a breach of the divorce decree?

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                • #9
                  Re: Non Custodial Parent has Dependent Tax Exemption

                  Custodial parent is only one entitled to claim child under your circumstances.
                  Due to a recent promotion, I should now be referred to as Major Obvious.

                  I would not be trying to provide information and knowledge if I did not sympathize.

                  Some days it is just not worth chewing through the restraints to face life.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Non Custodial Parent has Dependent Tax Exemption

                    Originally posted by Edmonds View Post
                    1995 Divorce Decree indicates non custodial parent would be granted right to claim youngest child as a dependent for tax purposes; in other paragraphs, decree includes requirements for child support (no age restriction) and medical insurance to be provided by non custodial parent and no time limit was indicated. Now, when the child above turned 18, the child support payments from the non custodial parent ended. Currently, the child is 20 and full time college student with zero support from the non custodial parent. Question is can the custodial parent now begin to claim this child as a dependent tax exemption to include Education Tax Credit without being in jeapardy of breaching the divorce decree? If so, what if any actions do I need to take before claiming this child again on my tax return?
                    If the non custodial parent -- and neither really is in fact the custodial parent if the child is in college, has reached the age of majority and is living away from home -- is supporting the grown child, paying college and living expenses, then IRS Tax Code comes into play, and not the custody/support order.

                    The responsibility for support is limited by state statute, even if not specifically spelled out in the divorce/custody decree. Without the state specific information no conclusive answer can be given for some states require the non custodial parent to pay until the age of 21 if attending college full time.

                    If the other parent is not supporting the child in any way and claims exemption he or she is committing income tax fraud.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Non Custodial Parent has Dependent Tax Exemption

                      The State is Tennessee; is it your understanding the age is 18 for TN?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Non Custodial Parent has Dependent Tax Exemption

                        The IRS Publication 501 sets out the qualifying standards for claiming for child or dependent exemptions.

                        It is available online at the IRS.gov site and I suggest one read through it.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Non Custodial Parent has Dependent Tax Exemption

                          Thanks for the advice but I end up confused when reading the 501; as an example see below for qualifying child and my responses after each, really need your insights:

                          FROM 501: Children of divorced or separated parents (or parents who live apart). In most cases, because of the residency test, a child of divorced or separated parents is the qualifying child of the custodial parent. However, the child will be treated as the qualifying child of the noncustodial parent if all four of the following statements are true.
                          1.
                          The parents:
                          a.
                          Are divorced or legally separated under a decree of divorce or separate maintenance,
                          b.
                          Are separated under a written separation agreement, or
                          c.
                          Lived apart at all times during the last 6 months of the year, whether or not they are or were married.

                          ....so my answer is "yes" to 1.a.

                          2.
                          The child received over half of his or her support for the year from the parents.

                          ,,,so my answer is yes; it was paid by the custodial parent but the question doesn't care it just says was it paid by the parents even though it all came from just the custodial parent

                          3.
                          The child is in the custody of one or both parents for more than half of the year.

                          ,,,again my answer is "yes"; child lived with custodial parent

                          4.
                          Either of the following statements is true.
                          a.
                          The custodial parent signs a written declaration, discussed later, that he or she will not claim the child as a dependent for the year, and the noncustodial parent attaches this written declaration to his or her return. (If the decree or agreement went into effect after 1984 and before 2009, see Post-1984 and pre-2009 divorce de-cree or separation agreement, later. If the decree or agreement went into effect after 2008, see Post-2008 divorce decree or separation agreement, later.)

                          ...so the answer is it was stated in the divorce decree that the non custodial parent has the right to claim the child as an exemption; have never signed a form 8332 since divorce decree became final in 1995

                          But my quandry remains, I am the custodian for a child who is a full time student and I pay 100% of his support; the non custodial parent quit paying child support when the child turned 18, now the child is 20. In reading the above criteria, it still appears the child would be an approved qualfiying child and therefore an exemption for the non custodial parent even though no support is provided. Please help me with any insights you may have as this is so confusing?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Non Custodial Parent has Dependent Tax Exemption

                            If one reads through 501 further, an adult child who is not receiving support from a parent may NOT be claimed as a dependent. The operative word is 'dependent.'

                            As I said, if the non "custodial" parent -- and an adult child does not need to be in anyone's custody -- in this case out on her own in college -- is not paying her expenses and more than 1/2 of them -- he may NOT claim her as a dependent.

                            The IRS is the last word on this subject -- who they will allow to be classified as a dependent and who they will not.

                            Forget the court order that is not a model of clarity. Did not spell out that support ends at 18. The statute does that. The support obligation is over at age 18. The adult child is out on her own, in college. The father is not paying a dime of support, yet claiming her as a dependent to the IRS. That is evasion, fraud.

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