There are many different ways you can do this if it is spelled out in your separation agreement. If you read the points of IRS form 8332 (irs.gov) it actually says that in the case of true joint custody and a real 50/50 split of time the person with the higher income gets to claim the child/or maybe it was children! If there is one than one child sometimes the parents will “split” the kids for tax purposes. Other ways you can do it is to alternate tax years. You can also work something out w/ your ex that if she lets you claim you pay her something. The important thing is to make sure that you are both not claiming the same child/children or else you will be audited and it will be a mess.
I do not see in form 8332 where the person with the higher income can claim the children as deductions. It appears that the form allows the custodial parent to claim the deduction unless this form is signed by them.
I am not a tax attorney, however the IRS has very specific rules as to who can claim the children as a deduction. If you and the other parent agree, either parent can claim the children, the IRS does not care as long only one of you claims each child. If you cannot agree on the division then the IRS has rules that determine which parent can claim the deduction, generally it is the parent that pays more support, if the parents pay equal support, it is the parent that has the residence where the minor child spends more time.
Helena M. Nevicosi
Attorney with Rosen Law Firm
4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
919.787.6668 main phone
919.787.6361 main fax
301 McCullough Drive
Charlotte, NC 28262
Main Phone: (704)307.4600
Main Fax: (704) 9343.0044
Durham & Chapel Hill Office
1829 East Franklin Street
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
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Is my wife entitled to dependancy exemptions to both children? We have 50/50 custody and I pay her $530/month in child support. Her lawyer said that we could not split it so one parent claims one child and so on. Is this correct?