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Divorced parents agreed to alternate children for tax purposes but getting error.

Level 2

I have a divorced couple that agreed to alternate the children each year for tax purposes. This is the first year the dad puts them but the children live with the mother. If I put the taxpayer as Head of Houesehold on the return and mark on dependent list that each child is N- Dependent child who did not live with client due to divorce or separation I get an error that states "Federal Information Worksheet: Head of Household's child must be entered OR you must enter the information for the qualifying dependent in the Dependent Section" and the boxes for the quaifying person's name and SSN under the HOH filing status are marked in red.

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3 Replies 3

You are trying to use HOH with a child who lives with the mother? Why do you believe the taxpayer qualifies for HOH?


If children live with mom, only mom can file HOH.

Dad is Single with the kid as a dependent.

Level 14

The definition of HoH is codified under §2(b) with reference to §152(c) for the definition of qualifying child.

Your client is not otherwise able to claim those as qualifying children under §152(c) but for §152(e), which deals with children of divorced parents.  For purposes of HoH, however, §2(b)(1)(A)(i) specifically stipulates that §152(e) is to be disregarded.

That's why your client can't claim HoH in spite of the release.


Farewell AllStars, Hello Level 14! After all, what is life without numbers for a tax pro?