Originally Posted by JenLyn1119
The idea that he and I could 'split' our son, for tax reasons, has been intimated, but I can't seem to find any way to determine, once and for all, if that's something I can do in my situation or not.
Generally, a custodial parent is the primary care parent. He usually assumes the responsibility of providing all of the essential needs for the child. This may include providing shelter, clothing and food. So, the custodial can claim the income tax exemption for that child. However, the custodial parent can choose to let you, the other parent, take the exemption. He can use IRS Form 8332 for this. If, later on, the custodial parent wants to take the exemption back, that parent also uses Form 8332 to do so. By completing Form 8332, the custodial parent would be indicating that he wishes to release his claim to a dependency exemption for the child on the form. Without this form, you generally cannot claim a child who did not live with you as a dependent because the child is the qualifying child of someone else. A custodial parent may use Form 8332 to release the exemption to the noncustodial parent or you have a pre-2009 divorce decree that spells out the claiming of the child and meets the IRS requirements.(But only if specifically specified in a pre-2009 divorce decree, separation agreement or the custodial spouse releases the exemption with a signed 8332 form - after 2009 the IRS only accepts a signed 8332 form that must be attached to the non-custodial parents tax return). In that circumstance, you would qualify only for the dependency exemption and therefore the Child Tax Credit.So, the dependency exemption and the child tax credit (including the refundable portion called the "additional child tax credit") can be given to you, the non-custodial parent if he signs form 8332. He gets the exemption unless there's a court order (like the child support order) saying that the non-custodial parent can claim the child, ORas mentioned above, he gives you written permission to claim the child, and says in writing that he won't claim the child.