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Why child custody matters for taxes

Out of sight, out of mind is how many people feel about tax season. It is hard to get in the mindset of thinking about various tax deductions, refunds or how much a person will have to pay when filing returns is still several months away. Texas parents who are going through a divorce might already have a lot of things on their plates, but they should also be sure to look toward the future in all matters, especially those related to child custody. This means also thinking about taxes.

Parents will not be able to receive any child dependency deductions until after 2025, as it was temporarily eliminated by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Some divorcing parents may think that it does not matter who claims a child as a dependent since this deduction no longer exists, but there are still many tax benefits for claiming dependents. In general, the custodial parent will get to claim the child on his or taxes, although there may be exceptions.

Noncustodial parents usually cannot claim their children for tax purposes, but some divorced parents choose to alternate years. Parents should address this matter during divorce, creating a timeline and guidelines that they intend to follow. Even with a written agreement, a custodial parent must still provide a written declaration that gives the noncustodial parent the ability to claim his or her child.

When it comes to child custody, parents should focus on their children's best interests. However, it is possible that while focusing on their children, some parents in Texas might forget to consider how certain decisions will also impact their own futures. Overlooking these important details can lead to unintended outcomes. A person who chooses to speak with an experienced attorney may feel better prepared to address a wider range of issues during divorce.

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