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Tax dependent status and divorce

Indiana parents who get divorced often end up with more to consider than they may have initially thought about. For many people, concerns center around when and how often they will get to see their children. Even in today's society, fathers especially need to focus on this in order to ensure that they do not get the short end of the stick here. In addition to this amount of time spent with their children contributing to positive parent-child relationships, it may also have financial ramifications for dads.

As explained by Student Loan Hero, only one parent is allowed to claim a child as a dependent on a tax return each year. Generally speaking, this is done by the parent who has either sole custody or with whom the child resides the majority of the year. This majority can be decided literally by one day. Fathers who logically would like to take advantage of this tax benefit may want to pursue agreements with their children's other spouses about sharing this credit.

This might be done by alternating who has the kids more nights per year. One year, the mother may have that extra night and the following year it is the father who gets the extra night. Where time is shared basically equally this may work well. According to the Internal Revenue Service, it is possible to claim a child as a dependent even when the other parent is identified as the custodial parent if that person signs a special form agreeing to this.

The form must also be provided with the non-custodial parent's tax return. This, however, limits tax benefits to the basic deduction only.


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Robert Schembs
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Indianapolis, IN 46204

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