Can my son’s father get joint custody of our son, if he resides in a different state than my son and I?

Would he be able to claim our son every year on tax’s returns since he lives in a different state?

Asked on January 21, 2013 under Family Law, West Virginia


B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

It's possible for him to get joint custody, but it's a bit trickier because of the multi-state issue.  Court's really don't like children bouncing from school district to school district when they don't have to.  If the father resides in a different state, but it's not so far that he can't do a quick commute because both residences are close to the border of each state, then it might be a doable arrangement.  But....more than likely, one parent will be named the main or managing conservator.  The other parent will be the possessory conservator with certain visitation rights. 

As far as taxes go, usually the parent with custody gets to claim the child.  However, the parents can and sometimes do agree to let the other parent claim the child.  Make sure that when you get the final orders entered that they specify who will have this right.

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

Under the laws of all states in this country courts like to give joint legal and physical custody to both parents of a minor. The issue then becomes the percentage of custody vis a vis each parent and which parent gets to claim the child as a dependent on tax returns.

As to issues of tax deductions as to the minor, there is the possibility if the child's father pays child support for the child that the father may be allowed to claim the child as a dependent for tax purposes.

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