Who Claims A Child As A Dependent After A Divorce in Florida
Divorce can be a difficult and stressful process, and one of the most contentious issues is often who will claim the children as dependents for tax purposes. In Florida, the rules for claiming a child as a dependent are complex and depend on several factors, including the parent’s marital status, income, and custody arrangements. This article will provide an overview of the rules for claiming a child as a dependent in the state of Florida after a divorce.
First, it is important to understand the definition of a dependent in the eyes of the federal government. A dependent is a person a taxpayer can claim on their tax return to receive a tax benefit. Generally, a dependent must meet the following criteria:
1. The dependent must be a qualifying child or a qualifying relative of the taxpayer.
2. The dependent must be a U.S. citizen or resident alien.
3. The dependent must have a valid Social Security Number.
In Florida, the rules for claiming a child as a dependent can be complicated. Generally, the custodial parent is allowed to claim the child as a dependent. The custodial parent is the parent with whom the child lives for the majority of the year. However, if the parents have joint legal custody, meaning that both parents have a legal right to make decisions about their child, then the parent with the higher adjusted gross income is generally allowed to claim the child as a dependent. As Florida is a state where parental timesharing is ordered unless there are special circumstances such as parents are in jail or are not physically or mentally adequate for parenting, or have been convicted of child abuse or domestic violence, child support and making decision-making for the child must be shared.
In some cases, the noncustodial parent might be allowed to claim the child as a dependent if the custodial parent signs a written declaration that they will not claim the child as a dependent. This is known as an IRS Form 8332, or Release/Revocation of Release of Claim to Exemption for Child by Custodial Parent. The noncustodial parent must attach this form to their tax return to claim the child as a dependent. Due to shared parenting, most couples will take the child as a dependent on alternate years.
The rules for claiming a child as a dependent in Florida can also be affected by child support payments. Generally, the parent who pays child support is not allowed to claim the dependent, even if they are the custodial parent. However, if the custodial parent waives their right to claim the child as a dependent, then the parent who pays child support might be able to claim the child as a dependent.
In cases where the parents have joint physical custody, meaning that their child spends an equal amount of time with both parents, the rules can be more complicated. Generally, the parent with the higher adjusted gross income is allowed to claim the child as a dependent. However, if the parents have equal adjusted gross incomes, the parent with more custody time can claim the child as a dependent.
In some cases, a third party may be allowed to claim a child as a dependent. Generally, this is only allowed if the third party provides more than half of the child’s support and the child is not a dependent of either parent. Examples of third-party dependents include grandparents, stepparents, and foster parents.
It is important to note that the rules for claiming a child as a dependent in Florida can be complex and are subject to change.
Overall, the rules for claiming a child as a dependent in Florida after a divorce depends on several factors, including the parent’s marital status, income, and custody arrangements. It is important to understand these rules and consult with a qualified tax professional to ensure that you are following the rules correctly.