Most Marital Settlement Agreements (a.k.a. Property Settlement Agreements) provide a mechanism for divorced parents to claim their children as tax dependency exemptions (TDE’s) on their federal and state income tax returns. Agreements silent on the subject default to the custodial parent’s annual recurring right to do so. Assuming that an MSA permits a non-custodial parent to claim a child as a TDE, it is important to recognize that since 2009, the Internal Revenue Service requires the non-custodial parent to obtain a signed IRS Form 8332 from the custodial parent and attach it to his/her tax return even if the MSA is clear regarding the parties’ intentions. Agreements entered into before 2009 do not require Form 8332 language since the IRS will recognize the Agreement as sufficient. Further information can be obtained at by clicking here. In this area and others, it is essential that an MSA be drafted and reviewed by skilled family law attorneys to avoid future problems of interpretation or enforcement.