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Child Income Tax Dependency Exemption

As a noncustodial parent, have you presumed that the custodial parent may only claim your children as dependents on income tax returns? Pursuant to Section 20-108.1 E. of the Code of Virginia, 1950, as amended, in any proceeding regarding child support, the court shall have the authority to order a party to execute all appropriate tax forms or waivers to grant the other party the right to take the income tax dependency exemption for any tax year or future years for any child or children of the parties for federal and state income tax purposes. In determining whether to grant a parent the child income tax dependency exemption, the judge will expect to hear evidence as to how often the noncustodial parent visits with his/her child(ren), the amount of child support being paid and whether child support payments are timely made, who is claiming on his/her income tax returns any work-related child care costs and the amount of the child care costs, and the financial benefit received by claiming a child or children. It is helpful to prepare two mock income tax returns, one return showing the results of claiming a child or children and the other return showing the results of not claiming a child or children. Having the right to claim a child on income tax returns can result in significant tax savings over the years, so do not neglect to petition the court to claim your children as dependents in a child support proceeding.

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