Claiming Children on Tax Returns


Dear singleagain:

Greetings. First, we look at the separation agreement to determine which party is allowed to claim the children for income taxes. When the separation agreement is silent as to the dependency exemption, then we look to how many over-nights each parent has the children. The parent with the majority of overnights in the income tax year gets to claim the children for that year. It sounds like you had the children a majority of the time, so you should claim the children. Best of luck.

Janet L. Fritts
Attorney with Rosen Divorce
4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
919.787.6668 main phone
919.256.1665 direct fax

10925 David Taylor Drive, Suite 100
Charlotte, North Carolina 28262
704.644.2831 main voice
704.307.4595 main fax


The response posted above is based upon the limited factual information made available and is not intended as a full and complete response to the question. The only reliable manner to obtain complete and adequate legal advice is to consult with an attorney, fully explain your situation, and allow the attorney sufficient opportunity to research the applicable law and facts required to render an accurate opinion. The basic information provided above is intended as a public service but a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action.


My ex and I seperated in May 2003, and ultimately divorced in October 2004. Our two children resided with me from May 2003, until the end of May 2004. After the change of living arrangements we had joint custody and I continued to have weekly and weekend visitation. We filed 2003 taxes jointly, and were supposed to file seperately there after. Are there any stipulations or requirements about who gets to claim the dependants?? I’ve heard that you have to provide for the dependants for at least 6 months out of the year. Providing they continuously resided with me for 5 months for the first part of 2003, and I continued getting them on a weekly basis. I figured that I provided for them for 194 days out of the year, which is more than 6 months. Should I have the right to claim them?? My ex have threatened to contact IRS and have me audited if I do. Please advise!!