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Dear Attorneys,

I usually file my taxes early. However, I am recently divorced and our divorce decree does not state who claims which child. Can I wait to file and try to claim both of my kids? Will the tax software tell me if my ex-wife already claimed one of them?


Taxed Tony

Dear Tony,

If your final divorce agreement does not specifically state who will claim the children as a tax deduction, then you would not be in violation of anything if you do claim both of your kids.  Specifically, that means that you would not be in contempt because for the Court to make a finding of contempt, the Court must find that you had a clear and unambiguous underlying Court Order that you willfully violated.  That said, your ex-wife is therefore not prohibited from claiming both children, either. Once one child is claimed as a deduction, the IRS does have a record of it and your accountant (and in most cases, tax software) will catch that and alert you to it.

Wolf & Shore Law Group is here to help you make your family law matters easier, not harder.  We are realistic and direct with our clients. We encourage potential clients to seek out a firm where they will feel comfortable and confident. Ever argue with a woman? Let Wolf & Shore Law Group go to work for you. Call us at 203.745.3151 or email us at

Very Truly Yours,

Wolf & Shore Law Group

*The situations represented in our Dear Attorneys column are entirely fictional and any resemblance to a specific case is unintentional. We cannot, and will not, offer legal advice to anyone who is not a client. However, if you do have questions or concerns, you should contact an attorney at your convenience.

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