IRS and Divorce
Garden City Law Firm

Is maintenance taxable?

Unless otherwise provided by the agreement or court order, the person who provides spousal support can claim the payments as a deduction, while the person who receives it must pay taxes on it as income. Unlike maintenance, child support is not deductible or taxable.

Who takes the child(ren) as a deduction on their tax returns?

Generally, the parent who has custody of a child claims the child(ren) as a dependent(s). However, with the custodial parent’s consent, the parent without custody can claim the child(ren). Sometimes if there are multiple children from the marriage, parties may agree to each claim one child until the first child is emancipated and then alternate who claims the younger child.

Can a court force me to sign joint tax returns?

No, a court cannot force a party to sign joint tax returns. Under federal tax law, individuals posses a right to file either joint or separate returns, which is beyond the trial court’s equitable powers. See Teich v Teich, 658 NYS2d 599 (1997).