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Old 12-15-2011, 12:52 AM
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Claiming college-aged daughter

My daughter had lived with her mother in another state before graduating high school this year and moving to Texas to live with me to attend college. Her mother has claimed her each year under terms of our divorce agreement.

My daughter turned 18 in July and moved to Texas in August. Her mother intends to continue claiming her as a dependent as allowed by law as she is a full-time student. Is this allowable and would I have any grounds to challenge it? At the present time, who claims federal dependency affects my daughter's tuition rate.

Thanks for your help.



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Old 12-15-2011, 02:02 AM
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“My daughter turned 18 in July and moved to Texas in August. Her mother intends to continue claiming her as a dependent as allowed by law as she is a full-time student. Is this allowable and would I have any grounds to challenge it?”----->I do NOT think so; usually the court documents rule which parent is the custodial parent, meaning the child lives with that parent the majority of the time. In that case, the custodial parent claims the child as a dependent. Some divorced people have an agreement that husband and wife will alternate years of declaring the child as a dependent, provided they provide about equal support and have the child living with them equally. Typically, it is the custodial parent who is legally able to claim his or her child as a dependent. As divorced / separated parents, generally the tax deduction for claiming the child is given to your ex, the custodial parent, or the parent who has the child more than half the year and provides more than half the child's support(The IRS income tax rules say that the parent having custody for the greater portion of the calendar year receives the deduction). A common stipulation for court ordered allocations is that you, the non-custodial parent, must be caught up on child support payments to claim the child for the year. If an arrears balance exists, the non-custodial parent can still take the deduction if the other parent agrees to release the child exemption. Your ex provides this form, IRS form 8832, to release the claim to the child exemption for the year, 2011. In cases of separation, the child can only be claimed by one parent. If the child is claimed twice, the IRS uses the release to determine who gets the deduction.You need to select the type of exemption authorized by the release. Your ex may provide release for the current year, 2011, or for additional years, 2012 + in the future. You could certainly move for an adjustment of support. Courts are loathe to change custody, and making the decision to move for that outcome would take some very detailed analysis. I can't say whether you have a basis to ask for custody on these facts or not. The NCP will frequently claim the child while the CP takes the head of household exemption.However,there is no automatic transfer of Court-ordered custody (there appears to be a custody order) based on a time frame. If you WANT to be the custodial parent the fact that your ex has allowed the child to live with you for X months outside the Court Order can and probably will be mentioned during the custody proceeding.


Last edited by Wnhough : 12-15-2011 at 02:53 AM.


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