I am a non custodial parent that pays child support. Can I claim my child as a dependent?

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I am a non custodial parent of my Child after a recent divorce. However I do pay child support and am able to be with my son from time to time. Can I maybe deduct him as child support child claim him as a dependent on my tax return in California?


A "non-custodial parent" is defined as a parent who does not have physical and/or legal custody of his/her child by court order.

Typically, if the non-custodial parent is paying significant support to the custodial parent and/or exercising more than usual visitation (but not more than the 50% of the time which would trigger the IRS rules to allow claiming the child as a dependent), the non-custodial parent has a valid claim to the tax benefit of claiming the child.

In California, The State of California Franchise Tax Board is responsible for administering various relevant taxes.  Please visit their site to learn more about specific California law for non-custodial tax benefits.

Moving forward, please consult with a Child Custody Lawyer, Divorce Lawyer, or Tax Lawyer to determine the best course of action for your case.