A common question in divorces that involve children is whether or not child support is considered taxable income by the spouse receiving the support. The answer to this question is no, and moreover, it is not deductible for the spouse who is paying the support.

An important topic to discuss, however, is that of family support, and whether or not it is taxable. Family support is the combination of child support and alimony and is a single payment of an agreed upon amount by the parents. This type of support is tax deductible by the payer and is considered taxable by the spouse receiving the support. With this in mind, someone seeking support would not benefit as much from family support as they would if the spousal and child support were in separate payments, as they are non-taxable. However, this isn’t so much up to the spouse as it is to the court, and they will often combine the two payments because the entire family does get tax benefits from a logical point of view. When the higher wage earner can deduct support payments, there is more money left in the care of the family overall, something that is lost in the bitterness and anger that clouds judgment in divorces.

One should definitely be familiar with tax codes and laws before strategizing a financial plan within the divorce proceedings. In general, it’s just wise to know tax laws!