Stepchild in Divorce

Today TaxMama® hears from Susan in the TaxQuips Forum with a divorce question for Valentine’s Day. “What happens, taxwise, to the relationship of stepchildren when the parents divorce and the stepchild stays with the stepparent? Do they go back to just being the girlfriend’s kid again? I hear about stepparents adopting their spouse’s children. Is that necessary to maintain the relationship test after divorce?”

Hi Susan,

Relationships that are created in marriage stay intact, even after a divorce.  

There is a question on the EIC page:

What is a foster child for EITC purposes? Some of my “clients” attempt to claim various children as a foster child or stepchild.

IRS Replies: 

A step relationship formed by a legal marriage according to state law is not dissolved by divorce or death. Treasury Regulations section 1.152-2(d) currently provides that “the relationship of affinity once existing will not terminate by divorce or the death of a spouse.”

 See,…even with a Reg citation.

And this is a good time to remind you of our upcoming course, a Tax Checklist for Knotty Divorces.

And remember, you can find answers to all kinds of questions about divorces, dependents and other tax issues, free. Where? Where else? At

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