Can non-custodial parent claim child when custodial is not employed?

Can a non-custodial parent who pays child support claim the child as a dependent? The custodial parent was not employed for the whole tax year, and 95% of the support for the child is coming from the non-custodial parent.
    Support makes no difference for a qualifying child since the the only requirement is that the child did not support him/her self.  It does not matter where the support actually comes from.

    If you are the non-custodial parent, you might be able to claim the exemption and child tax credit if the custodial parent releases the exemption to you with a 8332 form or you have a pre-2009 divorce decree that spells out the claiming of the child and meets the IRS requirements.
    Who can claim the exemption and credits depends on who is the custodial parent. (By the IRS definition of custodial parent for tax purposes - this is not the same as the custody that a court might grant.).

    The test that the IRS uses to determine the custodial parent is where the child lived for more than 1/2 (or greater part) of the year. The IRS will go so far as to require counting the nights spend in each household - that person is the custodial spouse for tax purposes (if exactly equal - The custodial parent is the parent with the highest AGI). And yes they are that picky.

    Only the Custodial parent can claim:
    -Head of Household,
    -Earned Income Credit,
    -Child Care Credit

    The non custodial parent can only claim:
    -The Exemption and
    -Child Tax Credit,

    But only if specifically specified in a pre-2009 divorce decree, separation agreement or the custodial spouse releases the exemption with a signed 8332 form - after 2009 the IRS only accepts a signed 8332 form that must be attached to the non-custodial parents tax return.

    See “Children of divorced or separated parents or parents who live apart” in IRS Pub 17 for full information.
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