Ask a Divorce Lawyer: Claiming children on tax returns in a divorce

Question: My ex is suppose to allow me to claim my children on my taxes for odd numbered years per our divorce decree. But the last time I did, the IRS told me I could not saying I had to have her sign Form 8332, which she refuses. 

If I was to take her to court over this, what are my chances of getting her to sign it?



First, let me state that I am not licensed in Oklahoma, so I am unable to provide any specific legal advise regarding your question. You will need to speak to an attorney licensed in Oklahoma to get specific advise regarding your question. 

Claiming children on tax returns is always a tricky issue because the IRS guidelines defines who may claim children as dependents. Courts and the parties may agree to allow another party to claim the child as a dependent on their tax returns, which is the situation you are in. If the Agreement or the Order of the Court provides that you are allowed to claim the children on your tax returns, then your ex-wife may be in contempt of court. The Court has the power to enforce its own orders , so if you believe that she is violating the Order, you will need to bring that to the Court’s attention.


Jason Bowman is an attorney in the Louisville, Kentucky office of Cordell & Cordell, P.C. He is licensed in the states of Kentucky and Texas. He received his Bachelor of Science in Business from the University of Louisville, and received his Juris Doctor from Texas Wesleyan University.

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2 comments on “Ask a Divorce Lawyer: Claiming children on tax returns in a divorce

    claiming child on taxes
    in my divorce decree it is written that my ex-wife and i are to alternate claiming our child. last year she claimed her. my daughter graduated high school and my last child support payment was i august. so it is my year to claim her based on the alternating year arangement that was made in court, but i only paid for 8 months of child support this year due to her graduating and being over 18. what is the law in reguards to this?

    what can i do if my ex already claimed my son, and i have full custody
    what can i do to rememedy a situation where, my ex claimed and filed his federal return and I actually have physical custody.

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