Non Custodial Parent has Dependent Tax Exemption

This is a discussion on Non Custodial Parent has Dependent Tax Exemption within the Child Custody & Support forum, part of the FAMILY LAW, DIVORCE, CUSTODY category; 1995 Divorce Decree indicates non custodial parent would be granted right to claim youngest child as a dependent for tax ...

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Old Feb 5th, 2013, 02:00 PM   #1
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Default 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?
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Old Feb 5th, 2013, 02:12 PM   #2
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Default 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.

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Old Feb 5th, 2013, 02:22 PM   #3
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Default 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.
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Old Feb 5th, 2013, 03:35 PM   #4
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Default 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.
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Old Feb 5th, 2013, 08:14 PM   #5
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Default 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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Old Feb 5th, 2013, 09:47 PM   #6
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Default Re: Non Custodial Parent has Dependent Tax Exemption

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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.
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Old Feb 6th, 2013, 04:12 AM   #7
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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.
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Old Feb 6th, 2013, 08:04 AM   #8
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Default 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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Old Feb 6th, 2013, 08:08 AM   #9
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Default Re: Non Custodial Parent has Dependent Tax Exemption

Custodial parent is only one entitled to claim child under your circumstances.
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Old Feb 6th, 2013, 11:20 AM   #10
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Default Re: Non Custodial Parent has Dependent Tax Exemption

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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.
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