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The IRS recognizes the custodial parent (the parent the child actually lives with) as the taxpayer allowed to claim a dependent.This arrangement should be specified in writing in the divorce decree or separation agreement papers. If one parent claims the child as a dependent, the other parent may be able to claim the Head of Household filing status if the child lives with that parent for more than half the year. Your ex-spouse will be required to sign the Form 8332 releasing the dependent(s) to you. The non-custodial parent would then be able to claim:
Even after releasing the claim to a dependent, the custodial parent would still be eligible to claim the following child-related tax benefits:
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