Even with a Divorce Decree and Parenting Plan in hand, who claims the kids for taxes can result in quite a bit of arguments between parents.
The worst part is that you may not even find out you are in this situation if your ex filed first and you’re just now receiving notice from the I.R.S. that someone else claimed your child for tax purposes.
What follows next is usually a 11-22 page set of Audit paperwork, sent to both parents from the IRS. And that takes months and months to settle.
How can you avoid this headache from becoming your new reality? It’s critical to spell out in the divorce decree exactly which children will be claimed by which parent and when. Some parents alternate tax years while others agree to each take a specific child to claim each year.
What about when the child is over age 18, but still a dependent due to attending college? Who will get to claim the dependency tax credit and college tax credits?
It pays great dividends in avoiding time and hassles with attorneys and the I.R.S. to have a carefully worded signed agreement that covers all these issues before signing on the dotted line.
Have you experienced the stress of fighting with your ex over who should claim the kids? If so, how did you handle it?