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You may be able to file for tax credits for your child

One consideration with child custody that isn't often talked about is the way caring for your child will affect your taxes. Children are dependents, and therefore, the government can give you a reduction on your tax bill for caring for your child.

As a married couple, you file a joint tax return, and that then includes your child as a dependent. Child tax credits may be added, and the overall bill would then be reduced.

However, when you are no longer married, you can't file jointly. At that point, you may not be sure who can claim your child as a dependent and who can claim child tax exemptions and credits.

Unless the court has determined who will claim your child, you and your ex can work it out between yourselves. Some people choose to give the exemption to the person who needs it most, while others vary who gets to claim the child on their taxes each year.

If you still can't decide, you can go to court to have a judge determine who should receive the tax exemption. Or, follow the IRS guidelines, which state that the child should have lived in your home for the entire year. If you provide half the child's support during the year, the IRS also respects your right to claim your child on your tax return.

This can be a difficult decision for some families, so speaking with your attorney can help you decide whose best interest the tax deduction will benefit. Our website has more information about this and other concerns about child custody you may have.

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