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Children of Divorced or Separated Parents

The support test for children of divorced or separated parents are given below.

In most cases, a child of divorced of separated parents will be the qualifying child of one of the parents. See Child of Divorced Parents under Qualifying Child. However, if the child does not meet the requirements to be a qualifying child of either parent, the child may be a qualifying relative of one of the parents. In that case, the following rules must be used in applying the support test.

A child will be treated as being the qualifying relative of his or her noncustodial parent is all of the following apply:

The parents

  • The parents are divorced or legally separated under a decree of divorce or separate maintenance
  • The parents are separated under a written separation agreement or
  • The parents lived apart at all times during the last 6 months of the year.

The child

The child received over half of his or her support for the year from the parents.

The child

The child is in the custody of one or both parents for more than half of the year.

A decree

A decree of divorce or separate maintenance or written separation agreement that applies to the tax year provides that the noncustodial parent can claim the child as a dependent (or in the case of a pre-1985 agreement, the noncustodial parent provides at least $600 for the support of the child during the year) or the custodial parent signs a written declaration such as the form 8332 that he or she will not claim the child as a dependent for that year.


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