The National Directory of Certified Public Accountants

Ask A CPA - Divorce - Dependents

If I Pay Child Support, Will I Be Entitled To Claim The Child As A Dependent On My Tax Return?

If the noncustodial is paying more than 50% of the child's support, there is no court order regarding the dependency exemption. The noncustodial parent gets the exemption if the parents were never married based on the dependency support test. You will probably need to fill out a multiple support form from the IRS to determine which parent actually pays more than 50%. If the parents are divorced or separated the dependency custody test applies. The parent who has custody more than 50 percent of the time is entitled to claim the exemption. The noncustodial spouse who claims the exemption will have to get Form 8332 (release of exemption) signed by the custodial spouse.

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