Taxes affect unmarried people with children much in the same way they do divorced partners -- only one person can claim the child as a dependent. This doesn't mean that only one parent is entitled to claim the child, just that only one person can legally take the exemption in any given tax year. How to decide who gets the tax break? That's easy. The parent whose income is in the higher tax bracket will get a bigger tax savings. Parents can agree in advance, and in writing if they prefer, on how to split the return.