You are here:

Tax Law (Questions About Taxes)/Question About Rules Governing Who Can Claim a Dependent


I have a non-standard household arrangement, in that I am married but we as a couple also have a female partner who lives with us and with whom I have a child who was born November 28, 2013. My question is this:

We were planning on our partner claiming him, but since we made more money in 2013 than she did, we thought we should find out if we should claim him since it would be more financially advantageous to our family as a whole (all 4 of us!) As I understand it, since she and I are not married but are living together and share expenses for child care as well as custody of our son, if she and I agree that I will claim him as a dependent on my taxes and she will not, there should be no issues with the IRS, is that correct?

A further question about that is that since my wife and I file jointly with my wife as the primary on our tax return, and the baby is my son and not hers, will that cause problems if I claim him as a dependent?


Thanks for your question.

If you provide over half the support and the child lived in your household for over half the year (while he was born), you can claim the child as a dependent.  The fact that it is not your wife's child is not an issue in this case.

Hope this helps.

John Stancil, CPA

Tax Law (Questions About Taxes)

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


John Stancil, CPA


I can answer questions on personal income taxes, partnerships, and some corporate income taxes. I can deal with some state tax questions. Limited gift and estate tax questions. I am also familiar with ministerial and church tax reporting issues. I am Professor Emeritus at Florida Southern College. Sales taxes and property taxes are state and local issues so I am not likely be be able to give you an in depth answer on those types of taxes. I have maintained a CPA practice, specializing in tax, for over 35 years. I am a member of the National Association of Tax Professionals, The Florida Insititute of CPA's, The NCPE Fellowship. In addition I am a Certified Mentor for SCORE. Visit my website at I also offer seminars and consultations to churches and clergy on their tax issues at Also visit my blog, I am listed on Tax Connections at Prepare and file your own taxes at


I hold a doctorate in Accounting, and am a CPA. My certifications of CIA, CFM, and CMA are inactive. I passed all certification examinations on the first attempt, and received honorable mention for my scores on the CIA exam. I have operated a CPA firm for over 37 years and have taught accounting and tax at the college level for over 35 years.

FICPA, NATP, NCPE Fellowship, Lakeland Business Leaders

The CPA Journal, Florida CPA Today, Green Consumer, Green Business, Global Sustainability as a Business Imperative, Palmetto Review, NATP TaxPro Quarterly, Mustang Journal of Finance and Accounting.

DBA University of Memphis MBA University of Georgia BS in Accounting Mars Hill University

©2017 All rights reserved.