Typically, only one parent can claim a child as a dependent. So, which parent claims a dependent child? Generally, the parent that has the child for the greater part of the year (over 50%), in other words the parent that the child lives with primarily, claims the dependent-exemption deduction for the child. Only he or she is allowed to claim the child as an exemption. However, the parent the child lives with primarily can give the other parent the right to claim the child as a dependent if certain requirements are met.
If parents have about equal time with the child, there is no clear answer as to which parent can claim the exemption. Therefore, it is important to address taxes during the divorce court case or during the Suit Affecting the Parent-Child Relationship (SAPCR) court case (if the parents are not married to each other).
You might also wish to consult a tax professional regarding this specific area.
For assistance in divorce proceedings or with a Suit Affecting the Parent-Child Relationship (SAPCR) proceedings, call Yale Law Group at (940) 891-4800.