I really need your advice on dad asking to claim one of our kids on his tax return

Valerie - posted on 01/25/2010 ( 214 moms have responded )

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HI! Thank you so much for reading this post. I got a text from my ex-husband and he asked if he could claim one of our sons on his tax forms this year. He has them for the day on Saturdays and one extra day whether it be on Sunday or a weeknight. But the boys live with me so for me it was a no brainer. I just replied with well they live with me so when they live with you part time then it will be fair to claim on of them on the tax forms.
I believe that is what the question is on the tax forms, 'do you have any dependents living with you?"
He got upset. What is your take on it?

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Judy - posted on 01/26/2010

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My daughter is a single mom (19 yrs old). She works and lives on her own. Although the dad is involved (he gets every other weekend and every Wednesday evening and does pay child support with his unemployment. He is also asking to claim their child on his taxes and is upset that my daughter won't let him. Here is my opinion - it is my daughter that has to deal with the day to day stuff. My grandson lives with her, she is the one that takes him to daycare everyday, if he is sick, then she has to take off of work and take him to the doctors or emergency. She is the one that takes him to his check-ups (except for possible 2 times). The father will not help out at all if it is not "his" day even though he is not working. She has total responsibility for their child. He can claim the support on his taxes and she should claim his son on her taxes. So Valerie - claim your boys and say NO to the ex.

Gwen - posted on 01/25/2010

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Unless your divorce decree specifies otherwise, the IRS laws side w/ the custodial parent. If he has minimal custody of the children, then I agree that you should claim them. (If you had joint custody, I could understand agreeing to let him claim).

If he ignores you and you both claim the same kid, he will get penalized (eventually) when the IRS catches it.

If you ever decide to let him claim one of the children, there is a Form 8332 Release of Claim to Exemption for Child by Custodial Parent that you sign, which allows him to do it legally.

Wanda - posted on 02/01/2010

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the parent who has the children with them for more than six months is the one who is eligable to claim the children on their taxes. soounds to me like he just wants extra money, make sure you file for the children.

Sara - posted on 02/03/2010

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I am replying to Rita's posts as well. In the US, a dad paying child support does NOT get to "take it off" his income in any way. So we pay child support, have the 2 kids for 43% of the time, take them to some of their activities and doctor's appointments (paying co-pays and contributing to pay for the activities in addition to the child support) but get no tax benefits from them whatsoever. We would love to have the kids here full time and get some tax benefits, but to get there would be an expensive, ugly legal battle, and we just can't do it.



Also, the divorce decree calls out who claims the kids, I would think yours would too. Typically though, if you are both in agreement to not follow the decree, you are okay. Although, some have mentioned there is a form that must be filled out for you to let him claim a dependent child, so talking to a tax advisor is a good idea too.



Good luck. Keep in mind that you will be dealing with this man on this kind of stuff until ALL of your boys are grown/married/out of school, so use some courtesy when dealing with him - next time you may be the one wanting a favor.

Rita - posted on 01/31/2010

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It's too bad that ex-husbands are always painted as the bad guy out to get more than he deserves. Many of them would like to be the one to take care of their children, but fighting for that right would have been a loooong drawn out battle (and would benefit only the lawyers). Please don't think that because they are not with the kids that they don't have the same worries. Please don't think that they ALL don't care about the kids and are just out for the money. That wouldn't be fair.

In my opinion, if the ex pays child support (ex wife or ex husband), then they should be entitled to some tax break.

If it's all about the money...it works both ways . It kind of sounds like everybody's worried about the money.

This conversation has been closed to further comments

214 Comments

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Kate CP - posted on 02/03/2010

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Thank you ladies for all your helpful responses. I am closing the thread now because the OP has obviously received a fount of useful information. If you have any more comments for Miss Pinkston please private message (PM) her.



Thank you,

Kate Capehart

CoM Moderator

Laurie - posted on 02/03/2010

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Well does he pay you child support and do yall have joint custody?? My ex doesnt pay any child support and never see's his daughter so therefore I claim her! I think if they live with you all the time and you pay for a roof over there head and power & etc. you deserve it ALL!

Ginger - posted on 02/03/2010

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I think you made the right decision. Cause you raise them in your home more than 50% of the time..

Dawn - posted on 02/03/2010

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Slyvia, nope not bitter. His ex wife gets one of the kids, we get the other and alternate the third. My oldest daughter's dad claims her and I claim other. It is the fair way. It makes me sick when woman try to bleed the ex dry. A friend of ours is divorced. His ex has 5 kids by 3 different men. He is only allowed to see his kids every other weekend and Wednesday night. When he remarried and had another child, he asked his child support be altered and was told he chose to remarry. Funny his ex decided to keep having kids with different guys and gets child support from them all. How is it fair she can move on and have more kids and get more money, but he is not supposed too? Not to mention he only sees his kids a few times a month when he wants to see them much more often. If you read many of the comments on here it is plain to see they are bitter and want to make the dad suffer. Why shouldn't she give one of the kids to him to claim for a deduction? Had he asked in court it would have been court ordered. All he has to do is ask for a modification and the judge will order it as long as he is current with support, so why make him jump through hoops.

Serina - posted on 02/03/2010

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You are right on the tax form it asks who the children lived with, but it also asks if you did at least half of the financial support for them...so if he pays child support he's doing part of the supporting if not then that was stupid for him to even ask you that question.

Sara - posted on 02/03/2010

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Valerie,



I am currently unemployed so I DO allow my ex to claim our girls, as long as he sends me half his return. No $$ and I will be on the phone to the IRS alerting them that he commited tax fraud. HOWEVER, when I was employed I claimed them. So sorry hubby!

Amber - posted on 02/03/2010

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Go with what your divorce decree states. If you choose to let him claim one child use the Form 8332 that was mentioned in a previous post. If you don't let him claim one of the children, get your taxes done ASAP. I used to work in a CPA office where a non-custodial father claimed one of the children without the mother's knowledge. It created a mess in the mother's tax return.

Shannon - posted on 02/03/2010

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ok heres the deal there are lots of dads out ther that dont or wont see thier kids. so count your blessings. I live in washington, I am lucky to still after 10 years still be with my kids Dad. but anyway in Washington most people split evey other year if the one parent pays thier support. If you would like to keep it cival, keep it in mind what is best for you kids. good luck

Holly - posted on 02/03/2010

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As a tax professional, I must agree with an earlier post that said you could file Form 8332 to grant the father the exemption for one of the children. However, no matter what a divorce decree says, IRS law says that the parent that pays over 50% of the dependent's living expenses gets the deduction. They do currently side with the custodial parent since they generally are the ones paying the majority of the living expenses. There is a spot on the form that asks what type of dependent the child is and you can also make the selection of a dependent that does not live with you. If the child had to live with the parent, people wouldn't be able to claim children that are away at college.



That being said, I would also look at your divorce decree and be sure that there isn't a stipulation in there that says your former spouse can claim one of the children or alternate the years the child is claimed as long as he pays child support. If he's not paying the child support, this is a no brainer and you claim your son. If the divorce decree says he can claim the child and he is paying child support, you could find yourself back in court for custody/support hearings which could cost you more than allowing him to claim the exemption for this year.



If I were you, I'd be relieved that he had enough sense to ask you first. Each year I see people racing to claim their children before a former spouse does. It causes lots of headaches for everyone if both parents claim the child and the IRS sends the letter out asking each parent to prove that they pay more than half the support.

Tshura - posted on 02/03/2010

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If he is giving you sme of the money then consider it but if not dont do it .

Lakisha - posted on 02/03/2010

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I agree with you on that, you should carry them on your tax. My kids dad carried my oldest son one year without my permission. And he had to pay it back.

Bonita - posted on 02/03/2010

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Someone is always looking for a way to save a few bucks when it comes to taxes. They have taken away almost all of the ways people could cheat on taxes so why not use the kids. Until they made you have to have a social security number for you dependents some people even claimed their dogs. My daughter claims her daughter on her taxes only one parent can claim them. I think you did the right thing. Good luck to you.

ANGELA - posted on 02/03/2010

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tell him no, this could affect your tax credits, your son lives with you, end off!

Jamie - posted on 02/03/2010

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i agree with you. but if he pays child support and half the cost to raise the children maybe you could alternate every other year with him. if he does not provide half the cost to raise them i would not allow it.

Andrea - posted on 02/03/2010

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i think that you did the right thing keeping them on your part ....in response to this i think that even though they live with you that gives him no right to claim them on anything you are their mother and i think it should be your right to claim them on your part...I could say more but what is the use i would start a whole different group lol take care and have a blessed day

Tami - posted on 02/03/2010

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I have two children and I have to let my ex claim the oldest one and I claim the youngest. My ex is not even in the same state and does not see them much but its in our divorce decree that he gets to claim one. However since they do live with me I can still claim them both on the earned income credit so really it does not hurt me. He pays support and in Indiana as long as he is not more than two weeks behind the other parent gets to claim every other year or if theres more than one kid its split. Hope this helps and good luck to you.

Tami - posted on 02/03/2010

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I have two children and I have to let my ex claim the oldest one and I claim the youngest. My ex is not even in the same state and does not see them much but its in our divorce decree that he gets to claim one. However since they do live with me I can still claim them both on the earned income credit so really it does not hurt me. He pays support and in Indiana as long as he is not more than two weeks behind the other parent gets to claim every other year or if theres more than one kid its split. Hope this helps and good luck to you.

Jaime - posted on 02/03/2010

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The children live with you, so you should claim them. The money that you receive for claiming them is much more likely to be spent on their needs than if he received that money.

Roxann - posted on 02/03/2010

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Hi Val, The law is that if the children live with you more thatn 6 months out of the year you claim the children! How do you fell about it? What is his purpose for doing it? It really is up to you but I would asak questions about the reason behind it because you need all the help you can get when you have to care for the children.

Renee - posted on 02/03/2010

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I do agree with you . This subject is something that should have been decided when/if you created a separation agreement or in writing prior to your divorce. Some do an even/odd year claim.

Sylvia - posted on 02/03/2010

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@ dawn.... OH, I SEE WHY YOU HAVE MADE THE COMMENTS THAT YOU DID.... YOU ARE A "BITTER CURRENT WIFE", AND YOU THINK THAT EVERY MOTHER ON HERE IS THAT OF YOUR HUSBAND'S EX- WIFE... WOW!! NOT EVERYONE IS OUT TO HURT THEIR EX.... YOU'VE OBVIOUSLY GOT THINGS A LITTLE TWISTED.... DON'T BLAME THE COURTS OR ANYONE ELSE FOR WHAT YOU ARE GOING THROUGH.... REMEMBER, YOU SIGNED UP FOR IT WHEN YOU MARRIED HIM, AND THERE IS ALWAYS TWO SIDES TO EVERY STORY, SO PLEASE TAKE A DEEP BREATH AND CALM DOWN.... ANGER WONT SOLVE ANYTHING

Sylvia - posted on 02/03/2010

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@ dawn.... you obviously need to grow up..... your comment is very insensitive. just because he pays child support does not give him the right to claim one or any of the children. some of these men are not even doing it voluntarily, and are being forced by the courts. how dare you make such a hostile comment like that. you don't know ANY of the situations, and what some of these mothers have gone through. WOW!! think before posting next time....

Jocelyn - posted on 02/03/2010

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Well, it depends on what the divorce papers say. In some cases, when joint custody is involved, a judge will award tax claiming to each parent, the mom in an even year and the dad in an odd year. You'll have to look.



If it dosen't say that, in my advice, I will tell you to let him claim one son on the taxes. Really, you only maximize your return with 2 children, so if you have 3 or 4, let him claim the other children. It makes for a less stressful relationship. And at least your ex-husband is apart of the childrens life. Be greatful for that. Some of us, me included do it by ourselves everyday with no help ever from the ex.



God bless you in your decisions

Cheryl - posted on 02/03/2010

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If he claims ur son then he gets all sorts of rights that are taken from u. Like child tax credit, Gst , among others, of course he wants to claim him, it cost him less, all over the place, and should custody ever be questioned he can say the boy lived with him that year. It all comes down to who does their taxes first on who can claim the children. No matter how much u may like ur ex or believe in him, trust me its to come to no good if u let him make money off his children, and more importantly take it straight outta their mouths.

Rene' - posted on 02/03/2010

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my ex claimed one of my sons without permission and now he has Thousands of dollars in penalties, if you have a really good relationship with your ex you might consider letting him claim one (if you do give him the irs form in writing). I have never had a good experience trying to be nice to my ex. Good Luck and I will say a prayer for you, because I no how hard it is to deal with an ex!

Sylvia - posted on 02/03/2010

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oh well..... let him get upset. he knows that the children would have to live with him half of the time before he could even think about claiming them on his taxes... my ex (boyfriend) called me for the same reason... note, he only sees his daughter maybe 4 times out of the year. he thinks that if he pays child support (which is not that much to even speak about... well it adds up to one pair of jeans, a shirt, and maybe a candy bar) he doesn't have to buy her a birthday nor a christmas present. WOW!!!! anywho he wanted to claim her, and i laughed hysterically at him on the phone and followed it up with a "are you kidding me?" followed by a "NO!" let him get upset, because it's not even about the child with him, it's about the refund!!!

Cynthia - posted on 02/03/2010

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There are many things to consider when making this decision. Will claiming both boys give you a greater tax benefit? If you have a tax liability after all deductions, with the non-refundable child tax credit and possibly the refundable additional child tax credit, it could make a big difference for you if you did not claim one. As was mentioned in a previous post, he would have to have you sign form 8332 to be able to claim either of the boys, the IRS requires that form for non-custodial parents. Any other tax questions, please feel free to ask!

Jacqui - posted on 02/03/2010

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Found this really funny to read how dare he ask u such a thing.So what he got upset you have the kids with you so you should claim for them not him.You stick to your guns shows you are a strong person and that he cant walk all over you well done for saying the right answer of NO

[deleted account]

I do not understand the American tax system - I do agree with you stance on it, however, that said, tread carefully. Would you loose in anyway, ie will you need it if you return to work etc this next financial year? Would your ex be prepared to ensure the children & yourself benefit from the extra allowance that he may claim?

Jennifer - posted on 02/03/2010

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Usually the judges will order alternating years between the parents, especially if he is paying child support. If he is not paying child support, and they are supported by you 100% then the claiming rights are all yours.

Crystal - posted on 02/02/2010

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I think it is fair if he is doing his part. No matter of the feelings between the two of you. My husband had the same problem with his ex-wife, and he was taking care of them. I would understand not letting him claim one of them if he wasn't really around or anything. But if he's stepping up, he deserves it.

Leslie - posted on 02/02/2010

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By law whoever they live with more than half the time is the person who claims them. They have to be with that person more than 6 months out of the year. I believe he can write off child support, but he cannot use one as a dependent.

Patricia - posted on 02/02/2010

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in my opinion i would have my children that i take care of the magor part of the year on my income tax. i truly believe a mother alone is entitled to her money. i dont know if i helped you, but thats how i see it. best of luck. patricia tryan (mother of 6)

Patricia - posted on 02/02/2010

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in my opinion i would have my children that i take care of the magor part of the year on my income tax. i truly believe a mother alone is entitled to her money. i dont know if i helped you, but thats how i see it. best of luck. patricia tryan (mother of 6)

Patricia - posted on 02/02/2010

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in my opinion i would have my children that i take care of the magor part of the year on my income tax. i truly believe a mother alone is entitled to her money. i dont know if i helped you, but thats how i see it. best of luck. patricia tryan (mother of 6)

Lisa - posted on 02/02/2010

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I don't believe he should get to claim them just because he pays child support. Child support is usually less than 30% of their income and he only has them one day a week, therefore you provide the majority of their support and deserve the tax break that comes with that. Just because "he's the dad" or "pays child support" doesn't mean he should get to claim them. Naturally if you have a court order that states otherwise then you must go with that. Now, if it makes you feel better, you could claim them both and give him 29% of what you get for them, since that's the amount of time he has them. :-)

Dana - posted on 02/02/2010

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In the state of GA it depends on what your divorce degree says. I would not dare help him commit tax fraud and as a tax preparer, I would have to say don't do it. He'll ask you to do it every year - don't start. It's fraud if he states that the children lived with him - and that question is asked in black and white...so tax fraud comes to mind. It will hurt your refund so don't do it! You are raising them, the money should benefit them, not him.

Amanda - posted on 02/02/2010

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You can agree to share the dependents but with them living with you for over most of the time, I believe you are justified in denying him the ability to claim on of he kids as a dependent. Does your divorce decree address the issue?

Gina - posted on 02/02/2010

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Wow.... Been there, done that. OK. My Ex asked to use one of the boys on his taxes "because he was going owe unless I let him" I didn't want to, but I wanted to try and "keep everythin smooth" with us so we could work together for the kids sake.... so... I bartered with him. I asked him to help out more financially with the boys the following year - such as Soccer, Baseball, Football, extra curricular things - He agreed and I signed the IRS form to let him use the deduction (I signed for the single year, not for the entirety of the childs minor years - very important that you only sign for the one year if you ever decide to do it).... well... That didn't work out too well - his new wife couldn't stand paying me child support, let alone paying extra (another story in and of itself) - so don't get me wrong... he did pay, but what I would have to go through to get him to help was less than desirable. So when January rolled around again, he just expected that I would give him one of the kids for taxes - when I said no, he was beyond pissed. This attitude lasted a few weeks before we got over it. I think had I stood the ground the first time, it would have been better to have established that boundary. NOW, with that said, you should go seek legal counsel, because what I have since found out is that the Dad CAN claim a child on taxes, but there is a different scale in which the child support is calculated AND it will be included in the court papers..... So, If I were you, I would say you know what, This last year they were with me and I spent the year with the expectation that I would be claiming the kids myself, so it is only fair that I do claim them, so that I do not get dinged on taxes, but let's go to a parallegal/court/lawyer and have them recalculate things so that you can claim one or both kids to be fair to all..... Now the other thing to consider is how will this shake out if you ever go to purchase a home and you have to show your income and outgo and dependants - again, you may want to talk to a professional because when in these situations, they go back for a full 2 years and no exceptions.



Sorry I rambled, but there are a few things I wanted to make sure you knew about and checked in to with professionals as it relates to your situation.



Good Luck!



Just a tidbit - As long as the child lives with you for 6 months and 1 day, you get to claim the dependant (provided it is not stipulated differently in court documents)

Jeannie - posted on 02/02/2010

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Does he pay child support? On time and a reasonable amount? If he does than he has a right to claim one as a "Dependent". It's only fair if he is being a responsible father and supporting both children half way. You of course supporting them the other half.

Traci - posted on 02/02/2010

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B I N G O! If they live with you, you claim them. If they live with him, he claims them. You're right...it's a no brainer. Hope it works out for ya!

Heather - posted on 02/02/2010

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does your ex, have joint custody? If so, I think that he has the right to claim.If your ex husband is paying child support, then yes he could also haqve that right, but personly, I think you should pose this thiws question, to a leagal aid society? It`s better to be safe than sorry. Regards Heather. I`ve been in this situation myself

Sara - posted on 02/02/2010

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1st, you have more than one child together, not just one. 2nd, does he pay child support? 3rd, will it make a difference on the amount of your tax refund amount? If you will get the same amount of a refund either way, then it won't hurt for him to claim one of them. If he owes back child support, he may get more money that can be offset for a child support payment to you.



Don't just think in terms of "they live with me not you." That doesn't really benefit anybody. For many years, I let my parents claim my daughter as a dependent and I claimed her for EIC purposes. When my income grew to the point that i needed a dependent to bring my taxes owed down to zero, I told them I would be claiming her.



Try to look at it objectively, from all angles, to see what would be best for all involved.



Lastly, remember that divorce? Check back to your divorce decree. If it says anything about who claims who for taxes, that trumps all and that's what you should go by.

Dawn - posted on 02/02/2010

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Maybe because they are so blatantly thinking it is ok to screw over the ex husband. They are jumping to conclussions about the dad are they not?

Amanda - posted on 02/02/2010

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good luck girl mine sucks at being a dad our oldest is about to be 14 in 11 days and he rarely sees them or pays if he had them summers, and helped out in school clothing, supplies and extra activities then i'd think of letting him just THINK bc in the end it takes someone full time to raise kids not a part time parent! and noone gets benefits on taxes for child support i asked h&r block myself and it can't be done, good luck and remember that money is for you to support ur kids just as child support is oh and i also found out you can claim 3 kids this year and here its 3000 for 3 and girl i almost didnt use 1 of mine and almost lost 1600 just bc u can't get full tax credit over 3 kids u still benefit trust me i had mine done differently to see the benefit!

Sara - posted on 02/02/2010

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If he pays and is current with child support he should have the chance to claim, whether its rotated every other year or (depending on the number of kids) each claim a certain child. They may live with you but they are both of your children.

Robin - posted on 02/02/2010

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I agree with some of the comments below. Your divorce decree should stipulate who claims the kids.

Brenda - posted on 02/02/2010

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oh I forgot to mention he hasnt filed taxes since 99 and lve in Maui...nice huh

Brenda - posted on 02/02/2010

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Unless specified in the decree that you share ( 1 each) dont....my ex has the rights to one if his support is paid in full.....lets see its been 12 years since I left he has never claimed one of the children considering now 2010...he is just about 50,000 in arrears and the state does nothing......

[deleted account]

They live with you therefor you claim them. It puts you in a higher tax bracket and puts him in a lower one. Therefor you won't get as much back as your entitled and he'll end up getting more than he should.

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