Exception for divorced or separated parents
Because of the residency requirement, a child of divorced or separated parents is typically considered the qualifying dependent child of the custodial parent; however, the child may be treated as the qualifying dependent child of the noncustodial parent if all four of the following conditions are met:
- The parents are divorced or legally separated under a decree of divorce or separate maintenance; are separated under a written separation agreement; or the parents lived apart at all times during the last 6 months of the year.
- The parents provided over half the total support for the child for the year.
- The child was in the custody of one or both parents for more than half the year.
- The custodial parent follows the IRS “written declaration” rules releasing the dependency exemption to the noncustodial parent and the noncustodial parent attaches all required documentation to his/her tax return for the year of the tuition benefit period.
Determining if your child is eligible
- IRS Publication 501: Exemptions, Standard Deduction, and Filing Information section on “Exemptions for Dependents” can help you determine if your child meets the IRS definition of child.
- Review the Dependent Eligibility Questions which includes affidavit questions in the e-TRP
- Contact your tax advisor if you have questions about how to determine if your child meets the definition of a child under IRS code 152(f)(1).