The noncustodial parent will be treated as providing more than half of the child's support if:
The custodial parent signs a written declaration, discussed later, that he or she will not claim the exemption for the child, and the noncustodial parent attaches this written declaration to his or her return,
A decree or agreement went into effect after 1984 and states the noncustodial parent can claim the child as a dependent without regard to any condition, such as payment of support, OR
A decree or agreement executed before 1985 provides that the noncustodial parent is entitled to the exemption, and he or she provides at least $600 for the child's support during the year, unless the pre-1985 decree or agreement is modified after 1984 to specify that this provision will not apply.
The noncustodial parent is the parent who has custody of the child for the shorter part of the year or who does not have custody at all.
The custodial parent may use either Form 8332 or a similar statement to make the written declaration to release the exemption to the noncustodial parent. The noncustodial parent must attach the form or statement to his or her tax return or 8453-OL.
The exemption can be released for a single year, for a number of specified years (for example, alternate years), or for all future years, as specified in the declaration. If the exemption is released for more than one year, the original release must be attached to the return of the noncustodial parent for the first year, and a copy must be attached for each later year.
Divorce Decree or Separation Agreement
If your divorce decree or separation agreement went into effect after 1984 and it states you can claim the child as your dependent without regard to any condition, such as payment of support, you can attach a copy of the following pages from the decree or agreement instead of Form 8332:
Cover page (write the other parent's social security number on this page).
The page that states you can claim the child as your dependent.
Signature page with the other parent's signature and the date of the agreement.
If your divorce decree or separation agreement went into effect after 1984 and it states that you can claim the child as your dependent if you meet certain conditions, you must attach to your return Form 8332 or a similar statement from the custodial parent releasing the exemption. Please note that our site does not support this.
All child support payments actually received from the noncustodial parent are considered used for the support of the child.
Paid in a Later Year
If you fail to pay child support in the year it is due, but pay it in a later year, your payment of the overdue amount is not considered paid for the support of your child either for the year the payment was due or for the year it is paid. It is payment of an amount you owed to the custodial parent, but it is not considered paid by you for the support of your child.