Divorcing a spouse does not divorce an individual from their stepchildren. According to the “relationship” piece of the dependency exemption, the stepchildren will remain stepchildren despite a divorce.

One example of this was the case of Tony R. Duncan. Mr. Duncan was married in 2008 to Candice Le Arbogast. Candice entered the marriage with two children, referred to as B.E. and H.A. With the divorce on Duncan and Arbogast in 2011 he figured he would be “divorced” from his stepchildren as well.

When filing taxes, the dependency exemption for B.E. and H.A. is when things get confusing for both taxpayers, in this case Tony, and the IRS. In order to claim an exemption for a “qualifying child” a specific relationship must be present. Stepchild is among these specified relationship and despite the divorce-the children are still stepchildren. That is because the relationship, according to regulations, will not be terminated by death or divorce.

Divorce Custody:
When going through a divorce, there are many laws involved making a divorce seem very complicated. Children are often one of the most confusing as far as stepchildren and custody laws go. When deciding who will obtain custody of the child the court must decide what is in the child’s best interest.

Going Through a Divorce?
It can be very difficult to deal with child custody laws and property laws in Arizona during a divorce.  If you are experiencing either of these issues, contact Jackson White’s family law attorney, Timothy Durkin, to schedule a consultation at 480.779.7972.