If a man and a woman have a baby but have never been married to each other, can they both take the
child as a dependent?
-C.D., Haverford, PA
First of all, I was always told that a man and a woman had to be married before they
could have a baby, so I suppose I will need to speak to my parents about that.
The obvious answer to this question is no. However, it is not limited to people who
are not married. No one can be taken as a dependent by two or more people. The next
logical question (at least by MY clients) is "If I do it, will I get caught?". The answer
is a resounding YES. Since dependents are tracked by social security number, the IRS
computers will very easily pick up this "mistake". A child is normally taken as a dependent
by the parent who provides at least 50% of the support. This usually means the parent with
whom the child resides, although different arrangements can be stated in divorce decrees, etc.
Back to Q & A