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Its that time of the year and the question always arises as to whether a parent can claim their child as a tax exemption if the other parent is not current in paying their child support.

Florida Courts have said that where a final judgment provides that a parent may claim a child as a deduction on their Federal Tax Return so long as they are current in their child support obligation.  Many parents believe “current” means as long as they are current on December 31st of their tax year, then they are entitled to claim the child.  NOT TRUE

Florida Statute § 61.30(11)(a)(8),  provides that the court may order a parent to execute a waiver of the Internal Revenue Service dependency exemption if the paying parent iscurrent in support payments.

In December 2013, the 4th DCA reversed a trial court’s order for the Mother to execute a tax exemption waiver on behalf of the Father because his child support was current as of the date of the hearing.  See, Williams v. Lutrario, 131 So. 3d 801, 4th DCA, 2013,

“At the hearing on the father’s Second Amended Motion for Contempt, the trial court also heard testimony regarding the tax exemption dispute. The father claimed he was entitled to the IRS tax exemption for 2011, testifying that he “faithfully paid” child support of   $226 plus $100 in arrearages every month since he received the final judgment. After hearing conflicting testimony from both parties regarding whether the father was current in his child support, the trial judge stated that she would take judicial notice of the clerk’s child support registry/ledger. The ledger reveals that the father was never current on his child support payments throughout the entire year of 2011. He was current on his child support payments only by the time of the November 2012 hearing.”

Current means that child support has been paid each month as ordered through December 31st of the tax year you wish to claim the child.

If you have questions concerning your entitlement to claim your child on your taxes, call our office  at (407) 343-4730 and we will be happy to meet with you to discuss questions.


Gail Linscott Silva, Esquire