Often people who divorce in Minnesota forget to address the issue of the income tax depdency exemptions for their minor children. This issue should not be overlooked because, cumulatively, it could save a spouse tens of thousands of dollars on his or her income tax return.
From the perspective of the Internal Revenue Service, after parents are divorced, the parent who has the children in his or her care more than 6 months out of the year has the right to claim the income tax dependency exemption for the children. However, regardless of what the IRS says, a Minnesota divorce court can award the exemptions to the parent who has the children in his or her care less than 6 months out of the year. They do this because both parents are liable for support and both parents should be able to claim the exemptions.
If there is one child, usually courts order that the parents alternate claiming the exemption from year to year. If there are two children, usually each parent is awarded the right to claim one exemption. If there is an odd number of children, usually the exemption for the odd-numbered child is alternated between the parents year to year.
If a person who is getting divorced has young children, he or she could be claiming the income tax dependency exemption for 15 or more years. If you do the math, the cumulative impact of this is worth a very significant amount of money.
Do not overlook the income tax dependency exemptions when getting divorced.