Can a non-custodial parent be given the right to claim a child on their taxes?

Can a court judge rule that my ex-husband can claim our daughter on his taxes every year, even though I have primary custody and he has only visitation rights?

Asked on November 11, 2011 under Family Law, Michigan


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You raise a very interesting question here.  You are correct in your underlying assumption that the custodial parent generally has the right to claim the child or children on their taxes.  Now, that right can indeed be changed but generally speaking it must be waived by the custodial parent (usually in the divorce agreement or settlement) and the custodial parent has to fill out a special form for the IRS.  Now, if both parents claim the child or children then the IRS has their own mechanism for figuring out who gets the exemption based upon gross income, custody, etc.  But here a Judge has abrogated your right to claim your child.  What was the basis?  Something does not sit well with me on this.  I think that you need to seek legal help from some one who can look at the entire picture.  Good luck.

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