Child Support and Taxes

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Most Common Family Law Issues:

Are Child Support Payments "Income" for Tax Purposes?

Child support payments received from the other parent for the benefit of your children are not considered income to you. Child support is tax free for the receiving parent. This means that neither parent of the child owe taxes on the child support received because it is not considered as income. Child support payments are also not tax deductible since it is a financial responsibility of the paying parent.

Are Child Support Payments I Make for My Child Tax Deductible?

Child support payments you make for the benefit of your children are not tax deductible. The giving parent cannot deduct child support as an expense for federal tax return purposes. When filing tax returns, only one parent can file a tax return using the child as a dependent. The parent who pays for more than half of the child's financial expenses can consider the child as a dependent. The IRS does not allow both parents to file the child as a dependent if they are not legally married.

Can I Give My Ex-Spouse More Alimony Instead of Child Support?

Although child support is not tax deductible and is not considered income, alimony or spousal support is deductible for the payer and is taxable income for the receiver. So it may be beneficial for divorcing spouses with children to arrange alimony payments to be adjusted so as to create a tax break.

Do I Have to Pay Child Support if the Other Parent and I Were Never Married?

You still have to pay child support even if you were never married to the other parent. Child support must be paid by any biological parent for the benefit of the child except if the child has been adopted by another person or the rights of the biological parent have been terminated for some reason by a court.

Who Gets To Claim a Child as a Dependent on Tax Returns?

In order for you to be able to claim your child as a dependent on your tax returns, a parent must provide at least 50% of the child's financial support during that tax year. When parents get divorced or are sharing custody and are not married, one one parent can claim the dependent exemption on the child. If the child received more than half of their financial support from one parent, than only that parent can claim the child as a dependent.

Do I Need a Lawyer for My Child Support Issue?

If you are trying to understand the tax implications of child support payments and receipts, it would be wise for you to speak with a family lawyer or to review your options. Working with an experienced family lawyer can help you understand your rights and help ensure that your interests are protected.

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Last Modified: 04-01-2015 12:47 PM PDT

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