Situation: 17 year old girl left mom's house in the spring of 2012 where she had been living for a couple years since her parents split, and is staying with dad and grandparents since then. Nothing has been formally changed. Mom still has legal custody, gets food stamps for her, and girl still goes to the high school in mom's district rather than dad's, is dropped off at school or at mom's to take the school bus. (yeah, I know, but I'm not going there on the food stamps or school district, just will be trying to do mom's taxes). Younger sister lives with mom and very rarely visits/stays with dad. Parents alternate years claiming the kids; this year is mom's year.
Mom's income makes her eligible for EIC; dad's does not, is too high. For 2011, mom got EIC for both kids - both lived with her all that year - even though dad claimed them as dependents.
My question, is the older girl temporarily away from home, so eligible for mom to get EIC for her, or does she fail the residency test, so no EIC? Pub 17 says for EIC, someone temporarily away from home is considered living with you during that time. I think "temporarily away" is a real stretch in this case, but would appreciate the opinions of others here. Thanks.