Solved: If i am divorced and make double the income than my ex, is it better for me to claim our 2 children or write off the house?
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If i am divorced and make double the income than my ex, is it better for me to claim our 2 children or write off the house?

 
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Level 15

If i am divorced and make double the income than my ex, is it better for me to claim our 2 children or write off the house?

The two of you  don't get to choose who claims the children, but one of you does. The custodial parent (The IRS goes by physical custody, not legal custody) has first priority on claiming the children on her taxes; regardless of the amount of support provided by the non-custodial parent. The non-custodial parent can only claim the child as a dependent if the custodial parent gives permission (on form 8332) or if it's spelled out in a pre 2009 divorce decree. Even if a divorce decree, dated after 2008, gives the non-custodial parent the right to claim the child, he must still get form 8332 from the custodial parent. A properly worded decree should require her to provide that form. https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f8332.pdf

There is a way to split the tax benefits. For future negotiations with the other parent (and maybe even for this year) the following info may be of use:

 There is a special rule in the case of divorced & separated (including never married) parents. When the non-custodial parent is claiming the child as a dependent/exemption/child tax credit; the custodial parent is still allowed to claim the same child for Earned Income Credit, Head of Household filing status, and day care credit. This "splitting of the child" is not available to parents who lived together at any time during the last 6 months of the year; then only one of you can claim the child for any tax reasons. The tax benefits may not be split in any other manner.

Note in particular that the non-custodial parent can never claim the Earned Income Credit, Head of Household filing status or the day care credit, based on that child, even when the custodial parent has released the exemption to him.

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"Or write off the house?"
That, too, is not optional. Nor or claiming the kids and writing off the house mutually exclusive. You can do both.

You must meet three rules to "write off the house"::

1. You are legally obligated to pay it

2. You actually pay it. 

3. It is your primary or 2nd home (applicable to the mortgage interest deduction but not real estate tax)

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Level 15

If i am divorced and make double the income than my ex, is it better for me to claim our 2 children or write off the house?

You and the ex don't get to choose who claims the children. IRS rules *tell* you who claims the children. check out page 8 of IRS Publication 504 at <a rel="nofollow" target="_blank" href="https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p504.pdf">https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p504.pdf</a>
Highlighted
Level 15

If i am divorced and make double the income than my ex, is it better for me to claim our 2 children or write off the house?

The two of you  don't get to choose who claims the children, but one of you does. The custodial parent (The IRS goes by physical custody, not legal custody) has first priority on claiming the children on her taxes; regardless of the amount of support provided by the non-custodial parent. The non-custodial parent can only claim the child as a dependent if the custodial parent gives permission (on form 8332) or if it's spelled out in a pre 2009 divorce decree. Even if a divorce decree, dated after 2008, gives the non-custodial parent the right to claim the child, he must still get form 8332 from the custodial parent. A properly worded decree should require her to provide that form. https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f8332.pdf

There is a way to split the tax benefits. For future negotiations with the other parent (and maybe even for this year) the following info may be of use:

 There is a special rule in the case of divorced & separated (including never married) parents. When the non-custodial parent is claiming the child as a dependent/exemption/child tax credit; the custodial parent is still allowed to claim the same child for Earned Income Credit, Head of Household filing status, and day care credit. This "splitting of the child" is not available to parents who lived together at any time during the last 6 months of the year; then only one of you can claim the child for any tax reasons. The tax benefits may not be split in any other manner.

Note in particular that the non-custodial parent can never claim the Earned Income Credit, Head of Household filing status or the day care credit, based on that child, even when the custodial parent has released the exemption to him.

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________

"Or write off the house?"
That, too, is not optional. Nor or claiming the kids and writing off the house mutually exclusive. You can do both.

You must meet three rules to "write off the house"::

1. You are legally obligated to pay it

2. You actually pay it. 

3. It is your primary or 2nd home (applicable to the mortgage interest deduction but not real estate tax)

View solution in original post

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