Who Gets to Claim Child Tax Credit in an Oregon or Washington Divorce
Just as the cherry blossoms and tulips arrive in Oregon and Washington, so do the questions about taxes. At this time of year, the question of taxes is a prevalent one. When parents are going through a divorce or custody case, they almost always wonder who will get to claim the child tax credits in a divorce.
The first thing for every parent with a parenting plan to know is that the Federal government has decided the person who has the children in their care more than half the time throughout a year gets to claim the children for federal taxes. If the parents have an exactly equal parenting plan, where they each have half of the time, then the deductions go to the person who makes more money.
Maximizing the Tax Return and the Family’s Money Even in Divorce
A State Divorce Judge Can’t Overturn Federal Law
First, the parties can agree to do something different than what the federal government says as part of their divorce agreement. If you intend to do this, make sure you have a family law attorney review or preferably draft your paperwork for you, as this is a very tricky area of the law.
Second, some people work out a “buy-out” arrangement of the tax credits, where if the second parent will get more value for the deductions and credits, they set up a system where they can basically pay the first parent for the right to claim these credits. This also is very tricky to set up correctly, so be careful in how you write your paperwork.
What this means though, is even if one parent clearly will get more value for the deductions, if they are the second parent, as far as time with the kids goes, the first parent can usually just refuse to give up this right, and there is often nothing the second parent can do to stop the first from claiming the kids. A good divorce attorney can help to guide you with the best options available.