In years following the year of separation (i.e., where the parties live separate and apart for the entire year), the parent with whom a child lives may claim the AED. Where an AED claim is made, especially for the first time, the tax authorities may well request some documentation to show that the person claiming the credit does actually have custody of the child. A separation agreement or court order outlining the custody and living arrangements is ideal; failing that, a copy of school records verifying that the child’s address is the same as that of the parent claiming the credit should suffice.

More and more frequently, divorcing parents are able to agree on and implement joint custody arrangements, where the children may move back and forth between each parent’s home. In such situations, it’s important to remember that the AED cannot be split “it must be claimed by one parent or the other. Co-operation in this regard is essential “if the parents cannot come to an agreement, and both attempt to claim the credit in respect of the same child, neither will be allowed to claim it and the credit will be lost. However, where there are two children in the family, and the parents share custody, it is perfectly possible for one parent to make the AED claim in respect of the first child and the other parent to make the claim for the second child.

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