Archive: June 2023

June 1, 2023

Navigating Tax Laws Claiming a Child on Your Taxes in Florida

Taxes can be a confusing and overwhelming topic for many, especially when understanding the rules for claiming dependents. One common question that arises for parents in Florida is whether they can claim a child on their taxes if the child does not live with them. In this blog, we will provide a comprehensive overview of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) rules for claiming dependents, the qualifications for a child to be considered a dependent, the potential tax benefits of claiming a dependent, and how a family lawyer can help navigate this complex process.

Who Is a Qualifying Child?

A qualifying child is a dependent who meets specific criteria set by the IRS. To be considered a qualifying child, the child must:

  • Be related to you (either your child, stepchild, foster child, sibling, or a descendant of any of these)
  • Be under the age of 19 at the end of the tax year (or under 24 if a full-time student)
  • Live with you for more than half the year
  • Not provide more than half of their own support
  • Not file a joint tax return (except to claim a refund)

However, these rules have certain exceptions, particularly in cases of divorce or legal separation. The IRS allows a noncustodial parent to claim a child as a dependent if the parent signs a written declaration (IRS Form 8332) agreeing not to claim the child as a dependent for that tax year.

What Are the Tax Benefits of Claiming a Dependent?

Claiming a dependent on your taxes can provide several tax benefits, including:

1. Exemptions

For tax years before 2018, you can claim an exemption for each qualifying child, which reduces your taxable income. However, this exemption has been suspended for tax years 2018-2025 due to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

2. Head of Household filing status

If you are unmarried and support a qualifying child, you may be eligible to file your taxes using the Head of Household filing status, typically resulting in a lower tax rate and a higher standard deduction.

3. Earned Income Tax Credit

If you have a qualifying child and meet certain income requirements, you may be eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit. This refundable tax credit can significantly reduce your tax liability.

How Can a Family Lawyer Help?

Navigating the complex rules and regulations surrounding claiming dependents on your taxes can be daunting. A family lawyer with experience in tax law can provide valuable guidance and support throughout this process. They can help you:

  • Understand the IRS rules for claiming dependents and how they apply to your situation.
  • Determine whether your child qualifies as a dependent and if you are eligible for any tax benefits.
  • Assist with preparing and submitting any necessary forms to ensure you comply with IRS requirements.
  • Provide legal advice and representation in a dispute or disagreement with the custodial parent regarding claiming the child as a dependent.
  • Ensure you maximize your tax benefits while adhering to all applicable tax laws.


Claiming a child as a dependent on your taxes in Florida when the child does not live with you can be a complicated process, but it is possible under certain circumstances. Understanding the IRS rules for qualifying children and the potential tax benefits can help you make informed decisions about your tax filing. A knowledgeable family lawyer can provide invaluable assistance in navigating these complex regulations and ensuring you comply with all requirements.

If you are facing any family law issues, don’t hesitate to contact us at Dorsey Law JAX. Our experienced family lawyers can provide you with guidance and representation in all aspects of family law, from injunctions against domestic violence to divorce and post-judgment modifications of support and custody. 

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