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Keep child custody in mind at tax time

When Michigan parents file for divorce, they must negotiate terms of agreement regarding numerous child-related issues. Two top priorities are physical and legal child custody. The latter refers to the authority to make decisions on behalf of the children in question. The former pertains to the children’s physical residence after divorce. Parents must also resolve other important issues, such as who will claim the children as dependents on tax returns.

Does one parent have primary custody?

Tax issues can be complex in divorce, especially when parents have a shared custody agreement. Both parents cannot claim the same children as dependents on tax returns in one year. To determine which parent should do so, a primary custodial parent must be identified. When custody is shared 50/50 neither parent has primary custody, which means both parents must agree to one or the other claiming the children as dependents on tax returns.

Many co-parents alternate years for tax benefits

In some cases, parents who share custody decide to alternate years with tax returns, so that one parent claims the kids as dependents one year, and the other parent does so the following year. Parents who have more than one child may agree to one parent claiming some of the children on tax returns while the co-parent claims the others.

If a Michigan parent needs additional child custody support

Tax issues can be complicated for Michigan parents who are navigating their first fiscal year after signing a child custody agreement in divorce. An experienced family law attorney can provide support with co-parent tax issues or any other aspect of divorce. It is especially helpful to have an attorney on board if a co-parent is refusing to cooperate-parent is refusing to cooperate regarding terms of agreement or other custody issues.