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Visitor II

Ex Wife and I both claimed our Daughter as a dependent. Now what?

Our divorce was finalized in 2005. Our divorce decree states that both of us shall take turns claiming our daughter. My ex wife is the custodial parent, and I am the non-custodial parent. My ex wife claimed my daughter last year, and naturally, it was my turn to claim her this year. I have already received my tax refund and just learned last week that my ex also claimed my daughter this tax season too. My ex wife refuses to amend her tax return - she thinks I should be the one amending my tax return. I also do not think it is fair for me to have to amend my tax return, since it is my year. She is saying I will likely be the one being audited because the IRS will favor her situation over mine. What do I do now?

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TurboTax Specialist

Ex Wife and I both claimed our Daughter as a dependent. Now what?

The custodial parent may claim all the child benefits. However, the noncustodial parent may claim the child as a dependent and for the Child Tax Credit but only by obtaining a written agreement (a signed IRS Form 8332) from the custodial parent. For a discussion of what happens when both parents claim a child on a tax return, click here.


The noncustodial parent cannot claim the child for the earned income credit (EIC) or the Child and Dependent Care Credit even if the custodial parent signs Form 8332.