If you are not married, there is no community property that has been created that would be subject to division in the event of a separation or divorce. Additionally, there are no rights to spousal support or other rights that would be available if you were legally married. However, the children do have rights to support and you can obtain court orders for a parenting plan through the filing of a parentage action, also known as a paternity action.

In terms of who claims the children on their taxes, the IRS Code states that the parent with more than 50% custodial time claims the children on their taxes. However, you can reach an alternative agreement with the other parent and incorporate that agreement into a court order. For example, you could agree to claim the deduction in alternate years or to share the deduction by each claiming one of the two children. To be in compliance with IRS regulations, this needs to be reflected in a court order.

It’s important to note that in the absence of a legal agreement, the IRS will automatically consider the parent with the most overnight stays with the child(ren) as the custodial parent, and that parent will be entitled to claim the child(ren) as dependents on their taxes. It’s always advisable to seek legal advice or consult a tax professional to ensure that any agreements or arrangements made are in compliance with the law.

Sanjay Sabarwal focuses his practice in the areas of Employment Law, Family Law and Personal Injury Law and provides outstanding service and expertise for your legal right to win cases with personalized attention and insightful counsel. Mr. Sabarwal has been the Co-Owner and House Counsel for Ziba Beauty, member of the American Bar Association, Los Angeles Bar Association, South Asian Bar Association and Orange County Bar Association. He also serves on the Advisory Board for Youth Business Alliance, which connects entrepreneurs to speak at underserved schools in Los Angeles County. He is also a board member for the Artesia Chamber of Commerce. Contact Sanjay at sanjay@sabarwallaw.com or (562) 250-4471.

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