claim a child on taxes

Can Divorced Parents Both Claim a Child On Their Taxes?

UFSTSG Filing your taxes

Getting money back and having extra to spend on necessities: These things are important to everyone at tax time. It’s especially useful for parents who claim a child on taxes and have the right to a refund.

But what happens when there’s a change in your marital status and you’re divorced? Can you and your ex-partner claim the child and both get a refund?

Learn more about how the tax credit changes for this situation.

Understand the Requirements for Claiming a Child on Taxes

Children remain eligible as tax dependents provided they meet certain requirements. They must be under the age of 19, or under the age of 24 if going to school full-time.

Make sure these details apply to your family and situation before you start labeling your child as a dependent and anticipating money back. Special rules apply for children who have disabilities, so take this stipulation into account before finalizing your taxes.

Know That Only One Parent Can Claim a Child

Only one parent has the ability to claim each child. Take into account:

  • Who the child primarily lives with
  • Who provides the most care or support for the child
  • How many other children you have with your ex-spouse (if any)

This influences matters such as which parent claims the child. If there’s more than one child from the marriage, each parent has the opportunity to claim a child.

Ensure you discuss the matter with your ex-spouse to prevent problems from occurring. The last thing you want is to both file for your child, causing further problems and legal issues. Also be aware of older children who work.

Teenagers who work need to file their own taxes too, even if they don’t get a lot back from the previous tax year. Learn more about how to tell if your teen is supposed to file.

Be Ready to Amend If There’s an Accident

Accidents happen to everyone and this applies to tax situations too. Get ready to amend your tax return if:

  • The other spouse claimed your child
  • There was a change of plans in who would file for which child
  • The IRS sends you a notice of a change and asks you to file an amended return

Although filing an amended return is not uncommon, it does slow things down. Get ready for a wait of 8-12 weeks before you hear back about a refund or money owed to the IRS.

If you’re experiencing difficulties getting your amended return filed, seek help from a tax professional. The process gets confusing sometimes, and having a trained eye assist you provides all the help you need.

Contact Us for Help

Understanding when to claim a child on taxes is tricky for everyone involved. If you’re experiencing issues getting your taxes filed, or aren’t sure how to handle the issue, speak with a tax professional.

We are here to help and offer assistance in everything related to tax matters. Request a quote today, and see how an experienced and qualified agent can help you get the biggest possible return, no matter what your situation.