Child Support Payment


Today TaxMama® hears from Danny in the Tax Quips Forum with this question. “My kids stay with their mother from Sunday noon until Thursday noon; then stay with me from Thursday noon until Sunday noon. I pay $140 monthly in child support. Can I claim them in my taxes?


 Dear Danny,

What did you arrange with your ex-wife? Or in the divorce documents? Technically, the children are with her for more than half the year. So she is the custodial parent.

The next question is, who pays more than half their support? I don’t know where you live, but $140 a month doesn’t even pay half the support for one child where I live, much less “children.” (You don’t say how many.) So you’re not paying more than half the support.

It truly does boil down to what you two agreed upon. If your wife signed a Form 8332 relinquishing her right to one or both children, then you can claim one or more of your children. Without that, you’ll have a battle on your hands – and will most likely lose. 

I’m sorry to give you the bad news.

But…if you do have more than one child, consider having each of you take at least one child. You will both be head of household and get some nice benefits.

And remember, you can find answers to all kinds of questions about children, exemptions, and other tax issues, free. Where? Where else? At

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