CHILDREN OF DIVORCED OR SEPARATED PARENTS OR PARENTS WHO LIVE APART--claiming a dependent
Which parent may be able to claim a child as a dependent?
In most cases, because of the residency test (for the tests to be a qualifying child for claiming the child as a dependent), a child of divorced or separated parents is the qualifying child (AND DEPENDENT) of the CUSTODIAL PARENT.
However, a child will be treated as the QUALIFYING CHILD of his or her NONCUSTODIAL PARTENT if ALL 4 of the following statements are true:
(a) Are divorced or legally separated under a decree of divorce or separate maintenance.
(b) Are separated under a written separation agreement, or
(c) Lived apart at all times during the LAST 6 MONTHS of the year, whether or not they are or were married.
2-The child received over half of his or her support for the year from the parents.
3-The child is in the custody of one or both parents for more than half of the year.
4-Either of the following applies:
(a) The custodial parent signs a written declaration, Form 8332, that he or she won't claim the child as a dependent for the year, and the noncustodial parent attaches this written declaration to his or her return (this must be done annually for each year), or
(b) A pre-1985 decree of divorce or separate maintenance or written separation agreement that applies to 2019 states that the noncustodial parent can claim the child as a dependent, the decree or agreement wasn't changed after 1984 to say the noncustodial parent can't claim the child as a dependent, and the noncustodial parent provides at least $600 for the child's support during the year.
NOTE: There may be specific rules and requirements for divorce decrees or separation agreements that went into effect on certain various dates and or time periods. See IRS Publication #501
NOTE: Form 8332 DOES NOT APPLY TO THE HEAD OF HOUSEHOLD FILING STATUS, EARNED INCOME TAX CREDIT, DEPENDENT CARE TAX CREDIT.
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