Child Support and Taxes

West Chester divorce lawyers assist clients with child support matters.For newly divorcing spouses, whether preparing taxes on your own or through a paid tax preparer, one typical question involves how child support payments are treated. Parents should know the tax laws and how these payments are treated.

For the parent who pays child support monies to a former spouse, these payments are not tax deductible, according to federal tax law. In other words, this is an expense that cannot be claimed as a deduction. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) treats these payments as a personal family expense, as they would consider expenses for raising a child in the same household. Simply because one parent pays child support to the other does not create a new category of deduction, according to tax law.

For the parent who receives the payments, these are also not considered part of the gross income required to be reported for tax purposes. The average person my think this applies, but there is an important exception for child support in the applicable section of the IRS Code, which states that it is not income.


Child support payments are just one aspect of divorce that parents find challenging. As in most legal issues and with periodically changing tax law, the guidance of a skilled family lawyer is strongly recommended to ensure your rights are protected. Other complex tax and legal issues in divorce that benefit from professional legal advice can involve alimony payments, property and estates, and other debt and assets. Prior tax laws deemed alimony tax deductible. However, the Tax Cuts and Job Act (TCJA) changed alimony tax deductions for divorces filed in 2019.

Child Custody

Other issues of child custody and taxes include the question of which parent is entitled to claim the child as a dependent. Both parents cannot claim the child as a dependent and the IRS typically allows the parent who has physical custody to claim the dependent. However, if the other parent has documented proof that they contributed more than 50 percent of the child’s support, that parent may claim the exemption. In this matter, it is essential to have professional guidance regarding the proper tax filing forms when submitting a federal tax return.

West Chester Divorce Lawyers at the Law Office of Deborah M. Truscello Assist Clients with Child Support Matters

If you have a concern about child support, the West Chester divorce lawyers at the Law Office of Deborah M. Truscello have experience representing clients in child support cases. We provide experience and empathy throughout the entire process. Located in Media, Pennsylvania, we represent clients throughout Media, Delaware County, and West Chester. Please contact us online or call us at 610-892-4940 for a free consultation to discuss your case.