You and your soon-to-be-former spouse have shared children, so you either pay or receive child support as part of your divorce settlement. Do you know what this means for your taxes?
Yahoo! explains how to report child support to the IRS. Make sure you understand and meet your obligations.
Child support as an income source
The IRS does not consider child support a source of income. That means you cannot count child support your current partner pays you as taxable income. Even if you feel entitled to child support payments, you cannot add them to the 1040 income tax form. While you may itemize deductions on Form 1040 or Schedule A, you cannot list child support as an itemized deduction.
Does your divorce settlement entitle you to receive spousal support? If so, those payments do not work the same as child support. You must include spousal support on your taxes as gross income.
Claiming your child as a dependent
Depending on your circumstances, you could claim your shared child as your dependent. The IRS defines qualifying children as those who are younger than 19, live in the U.S. for more than half the year and live with you for more than half the tax year.
Do you pay for more than half the household expenses where your shared son or daughter lives? If so, you could meet the requirements to file as head of household on your taxes.
You and your soon-to-be-ex-spouse must understand your tax classifications as divorced parents. You do not want to encounter troubles with the IRS.