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It is my understanding that the alternating year exemption practice can arise either from a provision in the divorce settlement that this will happen, or between two people who amicably divorce and simply agree to do this.

Just be careful. I'm not in the US, so this probably doesn't apply, but I'd read that if my ex had less than 30% custody of the kids, he could allow me to claim 100% of the tax rebate. BUT my accountant advised me that after he had done that, he had the right not only to revoke his decision at any time, but also to make the revocation retroactive, meaning I would have to pay back any of the rebate I had been "overpaid".

Even after say 10 years, if he wanted to get nasty, he could create a nice old debt for me with the tax office at any time.

Not the sort of timebomb I wanted hanging over my head, so I've just taken the 85% I am entitled to, thanks very much.

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