Shawneetown, IL asked in Child Custody and Tax Law for Illinois

Q: What options do I have if my child's grandma tries to claim my son on her taxes, even if he only stayed a month with her

He stayed with her for December but that was due to me (being without a vehicle) and her and the child's dad, keeping him from or not helping me to see him, I live 45 minutes away. They will not let him come back to my house.

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1 Lawyer Answer
James G. Ahlberg
James G. Ahlberg
  • Divorce Lawyer
  • Rochelle, IL
  • Licensed in Illinois

A: If you provided over half the cost of raising the child in 2022, you are entitled to claim the child on your taxes. If that is the case, make sure you file your taxes as soon as possible. If grandma's tax return is filed after your, her attempt to claim the child is likely to be rejected because the child has already been claimed by you.

Unfortunately, it's almost impossible to tell you the best option to follow without sitting down with you to get more information. Having said that, I can think of three possibilities, NONE of which you should take without reviewing the matter in person with an attorney who has the opportunity to review the court order stating who has parenting time with the child and when it is to take place:

(1) If a court has ordered that you have parenting time now (formerly called custody), you can either go to your local police department or sheriff's office with a copy of the court order and ask them to help recover your child. Think of it this way: If the court order gives you parenting time presently, grandma has basically kidnapped your child and is unlawfully restraining him.

(2) Again, if a court order gives you parenting time presently, you can simply pick the child up from school at the end of the school day. Give the school a copy of the court order that sets forth your parenting time, and tell them grandma is to have no contact with the child (unless the court order gives her parenting time).

(3) Lastly, you can go to the court that issued the court order to ask it to enforce the order by requiring grandma to surrender the child to you. You should not try this option without a lawyer's assistance.

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