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Who Claims the Child on Taxes after a Divorce?

As if a divorce wasn’t hard enough, things get even more difficult when you have to do your income taxes for the first time after getting a divorce. One of the most common questions we get is, “Who gets to claim our child on our taxes?”

Usually, the rule of thumb in Louisiana is the primary parent, or the domiciliary parent, gets to claim the child on the taxes after a divorce. However, with the law, things aren’t always as clearcut as we’d like them to be. Therefore, there are exceptions to this rule of thumb.

One of the exceptions is that the courts can decide for the non-primary parent to be able to claim the child as a dependent if the parent provides 50% or more of the financial support for the child, doesn’t owe child support, and if the filing of the taxes in this way benefits the filer while not harming the domiciliary parent. Proof of the benefit/lack of harm between the parents can be a little tricky, so it’s important to consult your lawyer.

Another exception is far less complicated and allows the parents to agree on who gets to claim the child on taxes amongst themselves. This doesn’t have to involve the courts and can just be an agreement between the parents. A common agreement is for parents to rotate years for claiming the child.

As you can see, there really is no clearcut answer in regards to determining who gets to claim the child on income taxes after a divorce. Call our office today to talk to Betsy Fischer about filing your first income taxes after a divorce.

 

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