Claiming exemption


J

JSmith9543

My ex and I are divorced. He currently is allowed to claim
our daughter per divorce decree, and I claim our son. Decree
states ex may claim 'minor child' until graduation.
Daughter turns 18 this year, and will graduate HS. Can he
still claim her since she will no longer be a minor? or may
I begin to claim her? She lives with me and will continue to
live here during college.
 
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J

Joe User

My ex and I are divorced. He currently is allowed to claim
our daughter per divorce decree, and I claim our son. Decree
states ex may claim 'minor child' until graduation.
Daughter turns 18 this year, and will graduate HS. Can he
still claim her since she will no longer be a minor? or may
I begin to claim her? She lives with me and will continue to
live here during college.
There are two separate questions here.

One is a legal question, namely how to interpret the
divorce decree. No one can answer that question
intelligently based on only the information you give.
("Garbage in, garbage out".) You should speak to a
divorce attorney about that.

The second question hinges on the answer to the first
question. Assuming that the divorce decree does not
entitle your "ex" to claim the exemption, as you
assert, whether or not you can depends on many
factors. See the "Dependency Tests" in IRS Pub 17
(p.29) at http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p17.pdf.

Simply because your daughter lives with you while at
college is not, by itself, sufficient to permit you
to claim her as a dependent, even if your "ex" cannot
according to the divorce decree. It is simply one of
five tests, all of which you must pass.
 

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