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Support and Taxes: How Child and Spousal Support Effect Your Taxes

The two most frequent questions I get as a family law attorney during tax season are: 1) Is my child and/or spousal support deductible? 2) Who can claim our child as a dependent this tax season? Here are some general rules to help:

  • Generally, if you pay spousal support, this is tax deductible
  • Generally, if you receive spousal support, this is taxable income.
  • For federal tax purposes, if you receive child support, you do not report the support as income
  • For federal tax purposes, if you pay child support, this is not deductible.
  • Who claims the child as a dependent is usually based on who is the primary physical custodian or the parent who the child lives with the majority of the time. Some parties will come to an agreement to alternate the claim yearly.

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