Blended Families

? about claiming dependents

Hello all,

What is your arrangement for claiming a child who you share joint custody with and support financially (100%,mother of child does not work). At minimum, I think we should be alternating years (when she gets a job) but does anyone know the standard? TIA!

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Re: ? about claiming dependents

  • I think alternating is pretty typical, but it all depends what is in your CO.
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  • My husband's CO says that they will alternate years, unless one of them doesn't have a job and won't get any benefit from filing anyway.  Since BM refuses to work, we get to claim SD every year. 
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  • Thanks. Judge did not mention it in the CO. Doesnt the person who financially supports claim or its shared? Isnt that what a 'dependent' is (as far as taxes are concerned)?
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  • imageThai527:
    Thanks. Judge did not mention it in the CO. Doesnt the person who financially supports claim or its shared? Isnt that what a 'dependent' is (as far as taxes are concerned)?

    Based on IRS definition it's where the child lived most throughout the year.

    ETA: Since she doesn't work I assume it wouldn't be a problem for you to claim the child, I would just ask.

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  • I think alternating years is pretty standard. If BM hasn't worked this year and can't file a return then I think you automatically get to claim the child.

    You 100 financially support the child? As in you pay the bills at the mothers house, keep the lights on, buy the food for when shes with mom, ect.?
  • It depends on your state. In my state there's a statute that says splitting years will be divided based on proportional income. So if each party makes the same amount they will alternate years. The party that has the child more than 50% of the time is required to fill out a form for the IRS so the other parent can claim the child.

    So in my state you would be allowed to claim the child every single year because you make 100% of the income involved in supporting the child. But that's not the case everywhere and it totally depends on the CO.

  • imageSimpleJane:
    I think alternating years is pretty standard. If BM hasn't worked this year and can't file a return then I think you automatically get to claim the child. You 100 financially support the child? As in you pay the bills at the mothers house, keep the lights on, buy the food for when shes with mom, ect.?

     

    Yes. BM has zero income, wont work, claims she lives off her child support. Lives off Section 8, medical assistance, food stamps etc. So what is not provided by the state is paid by us (ie keeping lights on, utility bills, extra food etc)

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  • imagehterry85:

    imageThai527:
    Thanks. Judge did not mention it in the CO. Doesnt the person who financially supports claim or its shared? Isnt that what a 'dependent' is (as far as taxes are concerned)?

    Based on IRS definition it's where the child lived most throughout the year.

    ETA: Since she doesn't work I assume it wouldn't be a problem for you to claim the child, I would just ask.

     

    Oh ok. We share joint custody so i guess that means alternate when/if she starts to works. Thanks.

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  • imageThai527:

    imageSimpleJane:
    I think alternating years is pretty standard. If BM hasn't worked this year and can't file a return then I think you automatically get to claim the child. You 100 financially support the child? As in you pay the bills at the mothers house, keep the lights on, buy the food for when shes with mom, ect.?

     

    Yes. BM has zero income, wont work, claims she lives off her child support. Lives off Section 8, medical assistance, food stamps etc. So what is not provided by the state is paid by us (ie keeping lights on, utility bills, extra food etc)

    If she's not filing a return, and she's not married so she doesn't have a spouse filing a return, I don't suppose there's anything she can do to stop you, even if she wanted to.

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  • In our CO it States we claim all three kids every year. In exchange bm has a lower cs rate. Claiming the kids benefits us more than increased cs since dh is self employed.
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  • imageThai527:
    Thanks. Judge did not mention it in the CO. Doesnt the person who financially supports claim or its shared? Isnt that what a 'dependent' is (as far as taxes are concerned)?

    The IRS defines a dependent as someone who spends more than 51% of nights in your home.  At least that's what our attorney told us.  Days don't matter, it's based on overnights.

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  • You have a specific issue that I can't speak to (a BM not working), but just wanted to add to all the PPs that we have alternate years w/ 50/50 joint custody.
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