My divorce papers state under income tax exemptions
When only one child remains, the parties agree to alternate the income tax exemption on a yearly basis commencing with the wife.
Does this mean when othe oldest child turns 17 and can no longer be considered a dependent, the youngest child dependency status with be alternated yearly by the parents?
If so, how does this work the next year when the 17 year old becomes 18 and starts college and can again be classified as a dependent. Does the agreement revert back to the origninal while the adult child is in college?
2 Answers from Attorneys
I urge you to confer with an attorney because it appears that you need legal advice. Your attorney will want to review the exact wording of the divorce decree. Tricia Dwyer Esq at 612-296-9666, Tricia Dwyer Esq & Assoc PLLC, Minnesota Divorce Attorney, Minnesota Post-Divorce Legal Issues Attorneys, Minnesota Divorce Law, Minnesota Spousal Support - Alimony Law, Minnesota Child Support Attorney, Minnesota Child Custody & Parenting time Attorney, Minnesota Family Law Mediator, http://dwyerlawfirm.net
Normally a 17-year-old child can be claimed as a dependent for purposes of the dependency exemption. It is the Child Tax Credit that cannot be claimed once the child turns 17.
http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p972.pdf (see p. 2 for definition of a qualifying child for the child tax credit)
http://www.irs.gov/publications/p501/ar02.html#en_US_2012_publink1000220886 (rules for qualifying child for purpose of dependent exemption).
It is likely that the divorce decree, when referring to when "only one child remains," is talking about when a child support obligation for only one child remains, which is usually when all but one child has turned 18 or graduated from high school. Whether this interpretation is correct or not, though, would depend on how the Order is worded.