With April 15 looming — how to handle alimony and child support

By |2022-03-31T20:25:00+00:0008 Mar 2012|Categories: Alimony, Child Support, Divorce|

With April 15 looming — how to handle alimony and child support

In recent years, the growing number of divorces has also lead to an increase in the number of laws and regulations around how spouses paying and receiving spousal and child support must account for the monies paid or received. As the April 15 tax deadline approaches, it’s important that couples who are officially divorced or separated know how to account for both alimony and child support on their taxes.

One of the most important things to keep in mind is that everything must be official. This means you need to have a court ordered official divorce decree or written separation agreement mandating that alimony and/or spousal payments of a specific amount be paid.

Under the current tax code, spousal support or alimony payments are deductible for the payer and considered as taxable income for the recipient. This same rule, however, does not apply to child support which is considered neutral and cannot be deducted or counted as income by either party.

Another important distinction is how child support and alimony payments are categorized and taxed. Monies received as child support do not count as alimony and are therefore not considered deductible for the paying party or as taxed as income for the receiving party. Also, provided both alimony and child support payments are mandated, in an effort to prevent a spouse from falling behind in child support payments, the IRS always considers payments made first as child support.

These are just a few of the complexities related to how child support and alimony are taxed. It is wise for individuals who are officially divorced or separated to consult a family law attorney who can provide more information and clarity related to these and other specific tax-related questions.

Source: Forbes, “Taxes From A to Z: A is For Alimony,” Kelly Phillips Erb, Mar. 3, 2012

About the Author:

Dorie Anne Rogers - The Law Offices of Dorie A. Rogers, APC
Dorie A. Rogers, a Family Law Specialist, Certified by the State Bar of California, has been an attorney since 1981 with an exclusive family law practice located in Orange County. She is accepting dissolution cases with support and property issues including the use of forensics to ascertain business value, community interests and to establish monthly case flow analysis. Ms. Rogers has substantial experience in high conflict custody litigation involving sophisticated psychological issues. She drafts premarital and postmarital agreement designed to define and establish parties' separate and community property interests. Paternity cases and domestic violence matters are considered part of her practice. Ms. Rogers is a court-approved and court-appointed to represent minor children.Ms. Rogers consults with individuals concerned about entering or exiting a relationship. She advises effective strategies for dissolution or premarital planning. Knowledge is power and good planning affords better results.Specialties: Family Law Specialist, Certified by the State Bar of California
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