Child Custody Laws: Who Claims The Children For Taxes?

mens divorce lawyer Janet Yu JohnstonQuestion:

My question is in regard to child custody laws and who gets to claim a child on taxes.

My ex-wife has primary child custody, though the child spends the majority of her time with the grandmother – my ex-wife’s mother.

It has come to my attention that the child’s grandmother has been claiming my daughter on her taxes because she provides the majority of the support. All of my child support money is being transferred to the grandmother.

Can the grandmother claim my child? If my ex-wife is no longer claiming our child, shouldn’t I be able to?


I am not licensed to practice law in your state so I cannot offer advice on divorce. However, I can give you general divorce help for men that may be useful to you.

Usually, the custodial parents of the child, who are also supporting the child, are able to claim the tax dependency exemption. The parents will sometimes alternate years for the exemption if the non-custodial parent has time with the child and is paying a substantial amount of support.

Yours is a strange situation since you claim the grandmother is claiming the child, when she neither has custody of the child, nor is paying for the child’s support.

I would speak to an attorney about filing a motion to have the dependency exemption alternated between yourself and the mother or maternal grandmother of the child.

Again, as I am unfamiliar as to the specific laws for your state, I recommend speaking to a lawyer licensed in your state for legal advice on divorce as soon as possible, as it may take some time to navigate the court system.

Cordell & Cordell has mens divorce lawyers located nationwide. To arrange an initial consultation with a Cordell & Cordell attorney, including Janet Yu Johnston, an Associate Attorney in the Louisville, Kentucky office, please contact Cordell & Cordell.

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One comment on “Child Custody Laws: Who Claims The Children For Taxes?

    We had a similar situation with my step-daughter. My husband had sole custody of his daughters and one of them chose to live with her grandmother in the same subdivision. We allowed them to claim her on their taxes because the law said that whoever the child resided with for the majority of the year could claim said child. I would assume that is also the case there since it’s federal and not necessarily state, but that’s just my thought on it.

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