Who Claims the Dependency Exemption After a Divorce?

The IRS has finalized the regulation on the right of divorced or separated parents or parents who have lived apart at all times during the last 6 months of the year to claim a child as a Dependent. The final regulations apply to tax years beginning after 2008.

A taxpayer can only claim a dependency exemption for a qualifying child or qualifying relative. Under the final regulations, the "custodial parent" is the parent with whom the child resides for the greatest number of nights during the calendar year.

If the child resides with each parent an equal number of time then the depedency exemption goes to the parent who has the highest adjusted gross income.

Regulation 1.152-4(c) defines custody as follows: a child is in the custody of one or both parents for more than one-half of the calendar year if one or both parents have the right under state law to physical custody of the child for more than one-half of the calendar year.

For further information on how timesharing in your divorce may affect your taxes, contact your local Florida family law attorney.