With the divorce rates above 50% in the US, I get plenty of individual clients who have been divorced previously. This can create some unique situations. I have had a few of these situations this tax season.
This last week I was doing taxes for a client. She had previously been divorced about two years ago. She had three children with her ex husband. In the divorce decree, although she is the custodial parent, she only claimed two last year and one this year. That means this year her husband gets to claim two as his dependents and receive the child tax credit. The IRS states that if an individual claims another as a dependent, for a child tax credit, or the earned income credit then no one else can claim any of the deductions or credits.
The one exception is for the individual in the divorce who has custody for more than half the year. In this case they can claim the earned income credit even if they cannot claim the child as a dependent. This created an additional refund for my customer of $1,000. Make sure that you are getting the maximum of your tax return. Use an experienced tax professional.