Guest Post By John Ellsworth, Esq
You can continue to claim your child as a dependent on your tax return if the divorce decree names you as the custodial parent. This is a very important rule for you to memorize.
If the decree is silent on that point, you would still be considered the custodial parent — and thus eligible for the exemption — if your child lived with you for a longer period of time during the year than with your ex. So if the child lives more than half the year with you, and your decree doesn’t mention who gets the exemption, then you get it.
Please keep in mind that it’s possible for the noncustodial parent to claim the exemption if the custodial parent signs a waiver pledging that he or she won’t claim it.