Have a Tax Question? Ask a Tax Expert
Typically, as part of the divorce settlement, it is agreed who will claim the children as dependents for tax purposes.
If it is not agreed upon, then whether you may claim the children defaults to the rules for claiming a child as a dependent in the tax code, i.e., providing majority of support, residing with you, etc.
If they'll be residing with you, and you'll be supporting them, you're the one entitled to claim the dependent deduction.
Typically, they have to reside with you for more than half the year in order to claim dependency. However, if you provided 100% of their support, and no one else will claim, you can claim them as dependents.
If she is going to claim, and you believe you're entitled because you provided 100% of their support, you can claim them, but, you may have to defend your entitlement on audit.
A safer bet would be to forgo the claim for 2015, and begin claiming them in 2016 when they reside with you.
You're welcome. Please remember to rate my response with the stars on top of the page. Thank you.
If you have any follow-up questions, please let me know. If not, please remember to rate my response. I only receive credit from Just Answer if my response is positively (three stars of more) rated.