Children of divorced or separated parents, who claims them on their taxes? So first off, the IRS will give the tax deduction to the person that has the child the most time during the year. It’s important to note, it is not necessary for this person to be related to the child.


Now with divorced parents, there is normally a divorce decree in place that states who the child is going to live with. This decree can also tell you which parent will claim the child on their federal taxes.

If there is ever a dispute, the IRS will only recognize the parent who the child lived with the most and if the parents are separated, the same rules will apply. Sometimes, you will have to prove who the child lived with the most. Proof can be established with school records, doctor visits, bills, etc… Documents and records are all a vital part of the proof needed in case the other person contests your tax deduction.


If someone claims the child on their tax return ,and you e-file (after they filed), you will not be able to get the tax deduction. Instead, you will have to wait and you will have to file a paper return along with your supporting evidence for claiming the child on your taxes. At this point, the IRS will need to review the information. Typically, sending a paper return in to the IRS can be a slower process. But in the end, if the deduction is rightfully yours, you will get the tax deduction you deserve.