If you’re a recently divorced custodial parent who is caring for your children more than 50 percent of the time, it is highly likely that the other parent is paying child support money each month. This money is no doubt an enormous benefit to you and your children; it might be the only way you’re able to financially provide for your family.

However, you may have some questions about various legal issues surrounding your child support payments — particularly relating to your annual tax burden. For example, do you need to pay taxes on the child support money you receive? The short answer to this question is, no, you don’t have to pay taxes.

The paying spouse will be the one paying taxes on your child support money. He or she will pay taxes on this money in the event that it was earned as a part of his or her salary. The paying spouse cannot deduct the child support money he or she pays from his or her annual earned income. Furthermore, the receiving spouse will not need to pay taxes on the money received.

Single custodial parents should also be aware that they can usually claim their children as dependents on their taxes, bringing additional income tax breaks. Generally, the custodial parent will receive favor in terms of claiming dependents; however, parents might separately agree to provide the paying spouse with the ability to claim one or more of the children as dependents.

Maryland parents who have further questions about child support and taxes may want to discuss their concerns with an experienced divorce lawyer or family law attorney. It’s best to know clearly how tax laws apply to your situation, or you could risk getting into trouble with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

Source: FindLaw, “Child support and taxes,” accessed July 20, 2017