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  1. #1

    Default Not Really a Question About Support, Etc

    My ex gf and I were never married but split up after 20 years together last year and never went to court for visitation, custody etc.. We have 4 children that are able to be claimed on taxes but the legal limit is 3. My question is am I able to hire a lawyer to be able to claim the 4th child since she can't and ive never claimed any of our children on my taxes?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Not Really a Question About Support, Etc

    the legal limit is 3
    Where did you get that idea?

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Not Really a Question About Support, Etc

    Quote Quoting Faintestidea
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    My ex gf and I were never married but split up after 20 years together last year and never went to court for visitation, custody etc.. We have 4 children that are able to be claimed on taxes but the legal limit is 3.
    There is no limit on the number of children you may have as dependents or that you may have to claim the child tax credit.

    Quote Quoting Faintestidea
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    My question is am I able to hire a lawyer to be able to claim the 4th child since she can't and ive never claimed any of our children on my taxes?
    That depends on the support laws and court practices of the state that has jurisdiction over the support issue. You can ask a lawyer in that state if the courts there might order a splitting of the dependents or alternating them every other year. Some states do that sort of thing. Also ask the lawyer what it will cost you to do it and then compare that to the tax benefit you'll get if you succeed.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Not Really a Question About Support, Etc

    Quote Quoting adjusterjack
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    Where did you get that idea?
    When we had our 4th child out of 5 9 years ago we were told by tax preparers that only 3 can be claimed by 1 person

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Not Really a Question About Support, Etc

    Quote Quoting Faintestidea
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    When we had our 4th child out of 5 9 years ago we were told by tax preparers that only 3 can be claimed by 1 person
    You either misunderstood them or you need to get a better quality of tax preparer.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Not Really a Question About Support, Etc

    Quote Quoting Faintestidea
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    When we had our 4th child out of 5 9 years ago we were told by tax preparers that only 3 can be claimed by 1 person
    I'm guessing that the preparer was referring to the earned income credit (EIC). That benefit is indeed only limited to 3 qualifying children. The EIC is a benefit for lower income workers, so if your income is too high ($41,756 or more if you have one qualifying child) you will not get that credit in 2020. The problem for you is that the EIC is a credit that only the custodial parent can claim for the children. So even if you were given the ability to claim one of them as a dependent you still could not take the EIC. So the idea of claiming one or two of the other kids so that gets 3 for the EIC and you also get 1 or 2 for the EIC would not work. You'd need to have to be the custodial parent as defined by tax law (i.e. have actual physical custody of the kid for more than half the year) to be eligible to claim the kid for the EIC. However, if you are granted the right to claim the kid as a dependent you could claim the child tax credit for the child even if you are not the custodial parent. But then the other parent would lose that credit.

    Quote Quoting flyingron
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    You either misunderstood them or you need to get a better quality of tax preparer.
    As discussed above I think the preparer was referring to the EIC. As a result, I don't think the quality of the preparer was the issue. Rather, given that the conversation took place nine years ago, it seems likely that the OP simply did not recall the exact benefit the preparer was talking about.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Not Really a Question About Support, Etc

    We had six children and claimed all 6.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Not Really a Question About Support, Etc

    Quote Quoting Taxing Matters
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    There is no limit on the number of children you may have as dependents or that you may have to claim the child tax credit.
    I agree, however, there is a limit as to how much additional child tax credit you can receive if you don't actually have any tax for the Child Tax Credit to be credited against. Therefore it is possible for lower income taxpayers to have no benefit or very little benefit in claiming more than a certain number of children.

    I had a client a few years back who had been claiming the same three children for many years and the oldest had just aged out of the child tax credit. She was not an EIC qualifier as she had too much income for that. She asked if she could claim her youngest child instead of the older child who had aged out. I questioned whether or not the child's other parent normally claimed that child. It turned out that she was one of the people who believed that someone could only claim three children and that no one had ever claimed her youngest child, who was 12 at the time. She also had enough income that she would have benefitted from claiming all of her children. We claimed the 12 year old on her current (at the time) return and amended the previous three years as well.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Not Really a Question About Support, Etc

    Quote Quoting Faintestidea
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    My ex gf and I were never married but split up after 20 years together last year and never went to court for visitation, custody etc.. We have 4 children
    In what state do you all live?

    How old are the children?

    Was your paternity of the children ever established? If so, how was it established? Note that "my name is in the birth certificate" does not answer this question.


    Quote Quoting Faintestidea
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    am I able to hire a lawyer to be able to claim the 4th child since she can't and ive never claimed any of our children on my taxes?
    Whether you have the ability to hire a lawyer is not something anyone here could possibly know. Assuming you have the financial means, you could hire an attorney to seek orders regarding custody, visitation and child support, which could potentially include an order that requires the person who is entitled to claim one or more of the kids on income tax returns to sign the required form to transfer that right to the other parent.

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