Who has the legal right to claim my daughter as a dependant? 3 Answers as of January 28, 2011

In my Divorce decree ( 1999 ) it states that my ex wife got to claim our daughter on her tax return each year and I got to claim our son on my tax return. Know that our daughter files her own taxes ( she is 21 ) my ex wants to claim our son on her taxes ( he is 17 ). My ex is the custodial parent and says because of that she has legal right to claim him. I pay my child support every month and full fill all other agreements and arrangements in our divorce decree. Does she have the legal right to claim our son on her taxes even though it says in our divorce papers that I have the right to claim our son ? What happens if we both claim him ?

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Meyer & Yee, LLP
Meyer & Yee, LLP | Kent W. Meyer
The divorce decree should govern and you should get the deduction as long as he qualifies as a dependent in all other respects.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/28/2011
LT Pepper Law
LT Pepper Law | Luke T. Pepper
If the divorce decree indicates you claim your son, you may need to go back to court to enforce the agreement. The divorce decree probably controls who claims as a dependent.
Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
Replied: 1/28/2011
Steven J. Fromm
Steven J. Fromm | Steven J. Fromm & Associates, P.C.
Your divorce decree is controlling and if she violates the decree she can be held liable for any damages that occur as a result of her breach. Her only recourse would be to have the decree modified. If both of you claim the child then the IRS will determine who is entitled to the exemption.
Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
Replied: 1/27/2011
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