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URL:  http://boards.fool.com/ltltid-like-to-clarify-the-issue-since-the-11525787.aspx

Subject:  Re: alimony/spousal support Date:  11/15/1999  5:14 PM
Author:  TMFTaxes Number:  21159 of 124646

<<I'd like to clarify the issue since the last answer is not entirely correct. It is not so definite, and there is a gray area. Further, the previous poster does not allow for any hope that a non-custodial parent can always sue the ex-spouse on a local level if an agreement regarding the dependent is violated.>>

You're right...the issue should most probably be clarified.

But rather than using Pub 17, let's use Publication 504...that deals with this issue directly.

First...the general rule...as I stated in my original post:

" Under the special rule, the parent who had custody of the child for the greater part of the year (the custodial parent) is generally treated as the parent who provided more than half the child's support. This parent is usually allowed to claim the exemption for the child, if the other dependency tests are met. However, see Noncustodial Parent, later.

Custody. Custody is usually determined by the most recent decree of divorce or separate maintenance, or a later custody decree. If there is no decree, use the written separation agreement.

If neither a decree nor an agreement establishes custody, then the parent who had physical custody of the child for the greater part of the year is considered the custodial parent. This also applies if a decree or agreement calls for "split" custody, or if the validity of a decree or agreement awarding custody is uncertain because of legal proceedings pen