Who can claim a child as a dependent for tax purposes in Nebraska? 1 Answers as of February 11, 2011

Many years ago, my husband’s divorce decree stipulated that he would claim his son for tax purposes, and his ex-wife would claim his daughter. When his daughter graduated from high school, the ex-wife threw her out of the house and she moved in with us. We did not go back through the court system to modify the decree, as he only had about 7 months of child support left to pay (daughter was 18, but age of majority is 19 in our state) before our daughter turned 19. Since then, she has continued to live with us (for the past 3 ½ years), we have provided all of her support, housing, college tuition assistance, etc. Her mother has provided no monetary support whatsoever. This year, it occurred to us that we should be claiming her as a dependent, as her mother threw her out of the house and has not supported her in any way financially. We told the ex-wife that was out intention and she said we can’t, because that isn’t what the divorce decree says. It would seem that when she threw her daughter out, and our daughter reached the age of majority, then the decree no longer “rules”. Can we claim our daughter on our taxes?

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This is usually decided by the decree. It sounds like circumstances have changed since then; however, in order to change the decree which is what you would need to do to claim her, when the other parent is entitled to the deduction, is to have the order (decree) modified. This requires a petition for modification. Additionally, if she is no longer living with the parent that the court placed her with, then you should also ask for the support to be changed based on this the same modification request can be used.
Answer Applies to: Nebraska
Replied: 2/11/2011
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