My ex-spouse claims our child as dependent, but the child lives mostly with me.

Select the last option on the Add Dependent> Relationship> Non Dep (HoH & EIC only) [Non Dependent Head of Household & Earned Income Credit only]

You don't have to have a dependent claimed on your return in order to file as a Head of Household (HoH). You still may be able to file using the status even if the other parent claims the child as a dependent.

HoH status can be claimed by the parent who has custody of more than half of the year. Typically, eligibility is determined by your custody agreement.

To use the HoH status you must meet a series of requirements, including:

  • You maintain the household in which the child lives, even if they are not claimed as your dependent
  • You are unmarried at the tax year's end or married and have been living apart from your spouse for over six months
  • The house you live in must be your own home and in most cases must be the main home of the dependent, meaning they reside in the dwelling for more than six months out of the year
  • You have to support more than half of the household, meaning you take care of all expenses and costs
  • You are a U.S. citizen or resident alien throughout the duration of the tax year.

Additionally, you may also qualify for the Child and Dependent Care Credit, Earned Income Credit for those which lower income amounts, and other tax credits you normally claim.

The other noncustodial parent may claim the dependency exemption for the child, if you, the custodial parent, releases a claim to exemption. Also, the noncustodial parent may claim the child tax credit for the child if the requirements for the child tax credit are met.