As Grandparents with Custody of our Grandchildren, Are we Entitled to a Tax Deduction or Exemption?

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“We live in Idaho and have been raising our two granddaughters, age 7 and 5, since Halloween 2006. The father and mother of the 7 year old are divorced and the mother, our daughter, had been granted the tax deduction for the 7 year old from the year 2000 on. Now the father of the 7 year old is getting an order to reduce child support payments and claim the deduction which our daughter has been told he can do with this new order even if he does not pay child support and even if someone else (in this case, us) actually provides 100% of the care of the 7 year old. Our question is if according to IRS laws we are entitled to the exemption on our taxes?”

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That last I checked, the law was that whomever the court order gave majority physical custody to got the tax deduction, and this was true even if the child didn’t actually live with that person. However, you should check with a family law or a tax attorney, as tax law is complicated and ever-changing, and while we have not heard that it is the case, it’s possible that the law could have changed since then.

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Author: House Attorney

A house attorney has answered this question.