Wednesday, January 25, 2012


Q. My ex husband claimed our two children as dependents on his return. The kids live with me and I claimed them. Now the IRS sent me a notice. Who gets to claim the kids.

A. I run into this question all the time. Here is the law.

In most cases the child of the custodial parent gets the exemption. This is determined by the "time test." A qualifying child must have the same principal place of abode as the taxpayer for more than one-half of the year. Prior to 1994 the exemption was determined by the divorse decree.

There is a Form 8332 Release of Claim to Exemption for Child of Divorced or Separated Parents. This form is signed by the custodial parent and gives the non custodial parent the right to claim the child. This form needs to be attached every year to the non custoial parents tax return.