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Things To Know About Your Taxes If Separated Or Divorced With Kids

There are 7 things you should know of your taxes if Separated Or Divorced With Kids. If you’re a parent that’s going through a separation or a divorce, we know that things can get messy or complicated quickly. From legal fees to claiming your kids as dependants, there’s lots to figure out. See how your new situation could affect your taxes, and what you’re able to claim on your return.

1.Can I claim my legal fees?

If you took on some legal fees in order to figure out the actual amount of support you’re entitled to, you can claim them against your income. On the flip side, if you have legal fees as a result of negotiating your support payments, you’re allowed to claim those too. You are also allowed to claim legal fees that you took on to collect late support payments. However, you cannot claim legal fees incurred for obtaining the divorce or separation agreement or establishing custody or visitation rights. In fact, the person who is in charge of paying the support payments cannot claim legal fees too.

2.I’m paying child support. Can I still claim my child as a dependant?

If you’re paying child support, you can’t claim your children as dependants on your return, except in the year of separation, assuming you would have otherwise qualified. You are not allowed to claim a deduction for your child support payments, unless the court order or agreement is dated prior to May 1997. Even if it may not be deductible on your taxes, you still need to indicate the child support amounts you paid.

3.I have primary custody of our child. What can I claim?

Single parents with primary custody can claim the amount for an eligible dependant (sometimes called equivalent to spouse) for one child. You may be asked for a prove of custody by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), and you should be able to provide documentation that shows that your child resides with you.

4.I have joint custody of one child. What can I claim?

Sadly, the amount for an eligible dependant can not be split, so you and your child’s other parent need to decide who will be claiming it. The good news is that, you can take turns, and alternate who makes this claim over the years. The CRA can disallow both if you both claim it. It is better you both decide who will claim it.

5.I have joint custody of two children or more. What can I claim?

However, parents with joint custody and two or more children can each claim the amount for an eligible dependant for one child.

6.How do childcare expenses work If Separated Or Divorced With Kids?

For the days that you have custody of your children, you’re allowed to claim childcare expenses, so it’s easier to keep childcare expenses separate where possible. Let’s say you’re paying all the childcare expenses, but only have the children three days a week, you wouldn’t be able to claim any costs of the other two days.

7.My child turned 18 this year. Can I still claim him or her as a dependant?

You can still claim the amount for an eligible dependant if your child was 17 at some point during the tax year.

We know that this stage of life is already pretty complicated. As part of the things you are likely working out with your ex partner or spouse, negotiating how your children will be claimed as part of your separation or divorce agreement is easier to do now, rather than when you’re filing your return. Remember to provide any information that may be requested by CRA to confirm claims of your child. The information must be provided to them within 30 days to avoid issues down the road.

You can also see the eligibility criteria for the Canadian child benefit.