41 answers

Ex Wants to Claim My Son on Taxes

Ok so my son's dad just called me up and asked what I was planning on doing when it came to claiming Ollie on taxes. Brian (ex) hasn't seen O Since July and says he doens't want to see O ever again. He does pay child support, but if I tally up my finances that would only be 1/3 of all income coming in. He asks if I'm willing to go every other year of claiming, or if I just want to claim him every year. He says that since he pays child support, Oliver is techinically a dependent on him too.
I don't know what we are required to do. He pays child support through ORS, so I'm planning on calling them to see what they say. My sister has 3 kids and they never see their dad and they pay child support but she claims all 3. So I'm confused. What do you think I should do?
And don't worry I will talk to people that know these sort of things, I just want outside opinions and maybe find a better solution.

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thanks ladies! He was only my boyfriend, and yes to he was a manipulator which is why I wanted to get insight. Yeah I just told him he doesn't get to claim O at all. He's not going to be happy, but oh well!!

Oh wow! I didn't realize that I had that many responses! Thanks everyone! I got my taxes done the second I got all the paperwork I needed!

Featured Answers

The question on the tax form is "did the qualifying child live with you more than 6 months of the year or did you provide over 50% of the total support for the qualifying child" Simple. Straight forward. To lie on that question would be tax fraud. If he wants that right, he can get a judge to grant him that right and put it in the support order.

5 moms found this helpful

I wouldn't let him claim him. You are the one taking care of him and the ex never sees him. He shouldn't get a little more money for himself when it could go towards his son.

1 mom found this helpful

My husband owns his own tax and consulting firm (KRD Tax & Consluting) and is willing to give you some free advice on how to handle this. We see this quite often. Give him a call when you get a chance ###-###-####.

More Answers


Let me guess - your ex was manipulative? Got you to believe you were at fault for his choices? Am I off-base? Because it sounds to me like he's trying to play you for money he's not entitled to.

He is obligated to pay child support. That doesn't ENTITLE him to squat.

Good luck!

6 moms found this helpful

The question on the tax form is "did the qualifying child live with you more than 6 months of the year or did you provide over 50% of the total support for the qualifying child" Simple. Straight forward. To lie on that question would be tax fraud. If he wants that right, he can get a judge to grant him that right and put it in the support order.

5 moms found this helpful

Child support does NOT equal custodianship. If you are the custodian over 50% of the time - you are the sole person who can claim your dependent on taxes.

You and your son are who need the tax break - not your good for nothing absent ex. Child support doesn't even cover a fraction of taking care of a child. He has some nerve asking you that!!

4 moms found this helpful

I'd tell him to take a flying leap!

Your son lives with you, you pay for most everything, and not to mention this loser (sorry, but guys like that irriate me, I deal w/ one too) doesn't want to see his son anymore...you are entitled to claim him on your taxes. If you do your taxes first, and you claim him, and then your x does his taxes and claims him, he will be audited, not you. Who has medical insurance on him? If you do, then he is completely your dependant and not your x's. Child support is just that, support. It helps to level out all your other bills you have for you and your son.

I don't know what ORS is, but definately ask them! And if you can do your taxes before him, you are a lot better off!

I hope everything works out in your favor!!

2 moms found this helpful

Is this an ex-husband or ex-boyfriend? Do you have court-odered support? This matter these days is usually defined in the court documents.

Kids aren't cheap, I know, but the support my daughter recieves isn't anywhere near a third of my income.

I wouldn't agree to this from the info you've given. From what I understand, alternating tax years only usually applies when there is a joint custody situation.

2 moms found this helpful

To claim a child must live with you more then half of the year so no your ex cannot claim him.

2 moms found this helpful

You need to talk to your accountant about this. If you child legally lives with you full time, I do not believe your ex can legally claim him on his taxes. Just because he pays child support doesn't entitle him to claim him on his taxes. I DO believe he would be committing fraud.

2 moms found this helpful

He legally can not claim the child if he is not the custodial guardian, so LOL @ THAT!! Tell him good luck with the IRS. File YOUR taxes sooner rather than later. Even if you don't have a custody agreement, legally, whoever the child lives with most (even if it's 49/51% of the time), gets to claim.

Still laughing at silly baby daddys.... oh honey I've been through it all, and they never get any smarter ;)

2 moms found this helpful

YOU should claim him! My mom was a single parent and my dad paid child support (which is not very much) but if the child is living with ou and the dad doesn't want to see him he has no right to claim him. Just make sure you file before your ex because only one of you can do it. I'm sorry you are having to deal with this. But stand your ground and claim your son every year!

1 mom found this helpful

Check with the IRS - it's not who wants to claim the children, it's law based - so I think he would have to meet qualifications to claim him. The kids aren't living with him, so I would expect you get the largest portion of claiming them, if not the whole thing. Definitely contact a professional.

1 mom found this helpful

If he has physically been with you in your house for more than 6 months out of the year then you get to claim him every year hands down. You might want to double check IRS.GOV but I'm nearly 100% sure this is correct.

1 mom found this helpful

This question is not answered by law, but is something that is to be decided between you and your ex. Some divorce agreements state specifically who gets the deduction to reduce the chance of arguments later. (And YES he can claim the dependent even if he isn't the legal guardian. The IRS doesn't care much about custody/visitation agreements, they only care that a child isn't claimed on two tax forms for the same year - that is fraud).

Every other year is a common solution to this question.

Here is a source of info: http://taxes.about.com/od/dependents/qt/splitting-depende...

1 mom found this helpful

the IRS forms say; how long has the child lived in your home? There is a part where you can put how much he pays in child support. He will either get a larger return or won't have to pay as much by claiming your son, so that's why he wants to put him on his return. My honest opinion, if your son doesn't or hasn't lived with him, only visited, he should be allowed to claim your son. Now, I'm not sure what kind of person he is, but I have heard of some baby's daddy that will file their taxes first with the child's ssn#.

1 mom found this helpful

You should confirm this with the IRS, but when I was receiving child support on behalf of my daughter, the IRS told me he had to pay 50% of the Childs living expenses in order to claim her. And, they didn't care what the court order was.

1 mom found this helpful

I wouldn't let him claim him. You are the one taking care of him and the ex never sees him. He shouldn't get a little more money for himself when it could go towards his son.

1 mom found this helpful

you claim him you are paying the most. He should not get money back only for your child not to see it. I you get a refund you could use it for the good for your son as you may need the money.

I agree with Julia S below. My Mom did foster care and she got to claim the kids on her taxes if they were in her home for more than 6 months of the year.... So I would assume that since he lives in your home full time you are the one with the right to claim him. Especially if he is only supporting him 1/3 financially.... AND out of principle because he isn't active in his childs life....:) Good luck!

He doesn't get to claim him unless Ollie lived with him for OVER half the year - 183 days or more. Doesn't sound like that is the case, so NO!!! He CANNOT claim him!! Nice try, but no way.

I would not give up any of your rights. He pays child support but so do you. It is not an easy road raising a child and by far not cheap. The child has lived in your house and he is your deduction. The father probably figured up his taxes and is going to end up owing so he wants the child care deduction and the EIC. Never do it.

My understanding, and I may be wrong, is that the child needs to live with the parent at least 6 months of the year (or something like that, I'm sure they have a way of separating it for joint custody) or provide at least half his support during the year. So you can just say "No, you don't qualify to claim him as a dependent."
He may be able to claim child support as a deduction, but of course that isn't as big of a refund for him. But really, paying child support does not make that child a dependent.

Tax law USED to say that what the divorce decree said was how it went, but that is no longer true. If the non-custodial parent wants to claim the child, he/she MUST have a signed Form 8332 from the custodial parent. However, it is still worth checking your divorce decree to see if it states anything because violating the decree can end up with more lawyer messiness than you want to deal with. The decrees often state odd/even years, etc. as long as the other parent is CURRENT with child support. If this is what yours says, you should probably sign the 8332 stating that he gets the exemption on odd/even years, etc. At least your ex asked. Many just take the exemption anyway. And yes, you should file early. If both of you claim the child, you will BOTH receive an IRS letter, but at least you have your refund in hand. Then you can prove Ollie lived with you through school records, doctor visits, etc. while your ex can't so he'll be out of luck. (I am a tax preparer--have been for 16 years.) Good luck.

I'm in the same boat, only I'm the dad but I love seeing my kids and see them a little over 50% of the time. All of this tax stuff got confusing to me and made my heard swim, especially when discussing it with my ex. Taxes were bad enough when I wasn't a father and now...

Anyways, I friend referred me to www.jleeaccounting.com and Johanna there was extremely helpful in getting everything sorted out as far as what the IRS will and will not allow. She also gave me some tips to use when discussing it all with my ex. In the end I allowed my ex to claim the our kids this year while I get to claim them next year and so forth and so forth. Im not sure everyone will be able to do this even if they wanted to, but Johanna would be able to help make that determination.

So if you happen to live in or near Denver I would highly suggest Johanna at www.jleeaccounting.com

Do you pay for Daycare and keep records? In our state if you pay for Daycare, then you can put that on your taxes. If that is the case ask him if he wants to pay you back for it. Did you have a court order on the tax situation?
You might look up your papers and see what was agreed upon. Sometimes all that stuff is shuffled by us so fast we don't know. Good luck.

As far as I know, you should claim him because he lives with you full time. Definately ask your attorney because it could have been in listed in your papers somewhere. I know my ex wanted to claim my daughter, but he did not have social and it was not ever specified in our papers.

My husband owns his own tax and consulting firm (KRD Tax & Consluting) and is willing to give you some free advice on how to handle this. We see this quite often. Give him a call when you get a chance ###-###-####.

It depends on your state laws. Here in Colorado, my attorney told me that if my ex is totally paid up on child support, he gets to claim our 2 children on his taxes. But if he is behind one red cent, then I get to claim them.

The child lives with you so you should claim him and the income you receive as child support. Your X can claim his own deductions because he pays child support but he cannot list the child as living with him. If he does - it is not your problem, he is the one commiting the fraud.

The only way that I would let him claim your child is if somehow it worked out that by claiming him he got more money back than you would have and then you split the difference so that you benefited as well. There was a year a while back when my husband's daughter lived with us for 6 months and with her mother for 6 months. We and her mother both calculated our taxes with and without claiming her and it made a bigger difference in a refund for her mother (by about $200) so we let her claim her and then split it. It doesn't sound like your ex is the kind of guy who would honor a promist to pay you anyway. Other than a split custody situation, the custodial parent is the only one who can and should claim a child as a dependent.

i know here in Az it is usually something decided by the court when custody is determined. i know people who switch years but they also both see their children. I would say if he wants to never see him again (so terribly sad, I am sorry) then he doesn't get to claim him. He is writing him off as his son so there is no dependent there for him IMO

Each state is a little different. In Colorado it is built into the divorce, and specifically states who will claim the children on the taxes, and if it alternates, who gets what year. Look at your divorce settlement and decree to find out what it says. If it doesn't say anything, you might want a consultation with a lawyer to find out what your rights are. Most of them will do a free hour consultation.

Health insurance coverage does not mean anyone can claim.

The custodial parent/ 50% of time expenses, etc...takes precedence.
The IRS changed the law anyway.

So if the custodial parent agrees to allow it that's one thing,

but it's sad people only think they love/care for their children around tax season, or when it's approaching. Pathetic! And for that reason and what's fair, legal, and just, I would not allow anyone to claim. Money cannot possible equal what's required to care for a child, and LOVE can't be bought/paid for.

Take that money and put it in savings for your son for later on. Thats what I would do :)

Only one of the divorced parents can claim a dependent child on taxes. And a word to the wise- file as soon as humanly possible. If he files first, and claims your son without your approval or knowledge, then you are just out of that deduction. If you both claim him, you face audit if you filed second. You would have to take him to court to get the money you would have been owed.
You can work it out that he claims him every other year, however, if he never wants to see him again, why bother giving into his demands? It's always more expensive for the parent with sole custody.
I had a friend who claimed their son every other year. Each parent signed a agreement stating that each had to put a certain amount of $$, on the year they claimed the son, into the child's college savings plan. I thought this was an interesting way to go about it.

If the father wants to never see the child again and wants to file him on his taxes, I think you should tell him hes dead dreaming! Dependent means depending on you, and thats your child. Your child depends on you to take care of him. He lives with you. You are the only one that honestly deserves to claim him because he is under your roof. As far as the daddy paying childsupport thats what he owes to the child because he is outside of the home. If you let him claim the child you will be giving the daddy back money that shouldnt be given back to him.

~ Our situation is as follows...Hubby's and the Ex's papers specifically state they split the kids, she gets one every year, Dad gets the other one every year...but I believe that this is because they have joint custody and the children split their time (almost) equally between the parents...and this is something that was agreed upon by BOTH parties and the COURT.

If Brian does not see his son and it does not state in any legal documents that Brian is allowed to claim him on his taxes then Brian is out of luck. Like the other ladies have said, their are IRS guidelines to keep in mind too and I believe he would be lying if he claimed your son. I would consult a lawyer, or ORS and then tell him No!

So, to recap: Unless your legal paperwork (child support, parenting plan) states who gets to claim him and when, then I believe you have no obligation to give in to his demands.

Does your divorce paperwork say what is suppose to happen? Ours originally said I claimed her every year and that was because that is what we agreed to because he said he didn't care. Just this past year it was modified and now he gets to claim her every other year :(. I'd check your divorce paperwork or if you can't find it, call the court.

Check your divorce or support decree and see if this was specified in your decree. If it was, follow your decree. If not, check with your attorney.

I think that your answer lies in what you wrote when you said ..."he doens't want to see O ever again."

I believe that if he is not going to take up the responsibility of being a father, then he should not benefit tax-wise. Also, I would guess that your ex is only paying child support because he has to and not because he wants to.

Since you alone are raising your son and are not shamelessly shrieking away from being a parent, then you alone are entitled to that tax credit.

If you have not already had all issues, including this one, finalized in a paternity, custody and child support order, I would simply tell him that you are not willing to allow him to claim the exemption unless he is willing to compensate you for the difference you would lose on your tax return. For example, if you would get an increased refund of $1000 by claiming Ollie, he should pay you that amount of money. If the ex would save $2000 by claiming Ollie, then it might be worth it to him to pay you the $1000. You should consider getting an order on the remaining issues because it is unlikely that the ex will truly stay away until Ollie is 18 years old. Better to take care of it early when all of the factors weigh in your favor. Good luck!

Hi Meg, my legal agreement with my ex says that if I am working full time, every other year is his or mine. If I'm NOT working full time (and I'm not) HE claims them every year.

But I don't know if that's a standard agreement or just what WE decided on, you know? Better ask an attorney.

Good Luck!


Check your states laws and with your attorney. My sisters ex can't claim their son because he hasn't lived with him at least so many months of the year, he's only paid child support, which he's also behind on, the scum. >.<

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