Can I claim the dependency exemption for my minor child?

http://www.dreamstime.com/-image4383838In both parentage cases as well as divorce cases the minor children’s dependency exemptions can become an issue. Parties often argue over who should be allowed to claim the dependency exemptions. While the relevant IRS codes say that a minor child must live with the party claiming them for six (6) months out of the year in which the person wants to claim them on their taxes, Illinois Courts have often divided the dependency exemptions amongst parents in certain situations.

Case law from the 4th and 5th District Courts in Illinois provide that sharing of dependency exemptions, or allocation of the dependency exemptions among both parents is proper so long as both parties are equally contributing to the support of said minor child/children. If both parties have equal expenses for the minor child, then, Illinois Courts may find the dependency exemptions can be reallocated. Parties also can agree to allocate dependency exemptions amongst each other in any number of ways. Often times there will be a caveat that the party paying child support must be current on all support obligations before they can claim the minor child on their taxes for the dependency exemption, as a protection to the party who is due child support. If the parties agree to allocate, that is usually acceptable to the Courts.

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