It is common, particularly around tax time, to wonder who is entitled to claim the dependency exemption for your children on your income tax return.
Usually your Separation Agreement or divorce decree will specify which parent is allowed to claim the deduction.
Sometimes a Separation Agreement may say that only one parent is able to claim it. Some people agree to alternate years. You can also agree to change your agreement depending on who gets the most benefit from the deduction.
But, you both must agree to do so.
If you decide to change what you have agreed to and shift the deduction from one parent to another, you must fill out an IRS form to do so. If there is no mention of this deduction in your Agreement or your divorce decree, then the parent who has the child for more nights of the year is entitled to claim the deduction.
IT IS ALWAYS best to discuss this with a tax preparer to decide the best course of action in your situation.