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If I'm paying child support for my children but they don't live with me, can I claim them as dependents?
When claiming a child, the amount of support you provide usually doesn't matter. Instead, to qualify as a dependent, the child must not provide more than half of his or her own support for the year.
The child must live with you more than half of the year. So, the child of divorced or separated parents is usually the qualifying child of the parent the child lived with the longest. This is the custodial parent according to the tax law.
However, the child can be the qualifying child of the noncustodial parent if all of these are true:
In the above situation, the noncustodial parent can take the dependency exemption if one of these is true: