Who get's to claim child on the income tax return?

Asked about 4 years ago - Reading, PA

My husband and I are seperated. Frior to June 11th we had 50 - 50 custody. As of June 11th he has primary custody. Can I still claim a child on the income tax return?

Attorney answers (2)

  1. Brad Howell

    Contributor Level 13

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . In order to claim a child as a dependent, they must be classified as what is known as a "qualifying child." In general, a child must meet four criteria to be a qualifying child:

    Joint Return Test — Qualifying Child

    To meet this test, the child must be:

    * Unmarried,
    * Married but does not file a joint return, or
    * Married and files a joint return only to claim a refund of withheld tax, neither the dependent nor spouse can claim personal exemption on their joint return


    Citizen or Resident Test — Qualifying Child

    To meet this test, the child must be:

    * A U.S. citizen or resident or
    * A resident of Canada or Mexico


    Relationship Test — Qualifying Child

    To meet this test, the child must be:

    * Your son, daughter, stepchild, eligible foster child, adopted child, or a descendant (for example, your grandchild) of any of them, or
    * Your brother, sister, half brother, half sister, stepbrother, stepsister, or a descendant (for example, your niece or nephew) of any of them.


    Age Test — Qualifying Child

    To meet this test, the child must be:

    * Under age 19 at the end of the year
    * A full-time student under age 24 at the end of the year, or
    * Permanently and totally disabled at any time during the year, regardless of age.


    Beginning in 2009, the following changes have been made to the definition of a qualifying child.

    • To be your qualifying child, a child must be younger than you unless the child is
    permanently and totally disabled.
    • A child cannot be your qualifying child if he or she files a joint return, unless the
    return was filed only as a claim for refund.
    • If the parents of a child can claim the child as a qualifying child but no parent so
    claims the child, no one else can claim the child as a qualifying child unless that
    person’s AGI is higher than the highest AGI of any of the child’s parents who can
    claim the child.
    • Your child is a qualifying child for purposes of the child tax credit only if you can
    and do claim an exemption for him or her.

  2. Ayuban Antonio Tomas

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Based on the information you provided, it sounds like at the end of the year, your husband will have provided more than half of the support for the child, therefore he would be entitled to claim the child as a dependant.

    THESE COMMENTS ARE NOT LEGAL ADVICE. They are provided for informational purposes only. Actual legal advice can only be provided after consultation by an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction. Answering this question does not create an attorney-client relationship or otherwise require further consultation.

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