Claiming a Dependent Student on Tax ReturnsTax filing status does not affect who completes the FAFSA. The parents have to actually be divorced or separated, not just filing separate returns, for only one parent to be responsible for completing the FAFSA.
Parents Responsible for FAFSA CompletionAccording to a Forbes article by Kantrowitz, current FAFSA rules “...only require one parent to be responsible for completing the FAFSA.” This parent is considered the custodial parent.
- A state considers them legally separated.
- They are informally separated, and do not reside in the same household.
- The parent that you’ve lived with more in the past year. If you’ve lived with both parents the equal amounts of time in the past 12 months, you’ll be answering FAFSA questions about:
- The parent who gave the most financial support, or...
- The parent during the most recent year (12 months) you actually received support from.