Support Payments Are Taxable Income

Dear Mr. Premack: After nearly forty years, I am recently divorced. Part of the divorce agreement was that my (now) ex-husband has to pay support to me. Does that support have to be included in my income? — VF

I would suggest you ask your accountant, but Federal law states that routine support payments received pursuant to a divorce decree are taxable to the recipient, and deductible by the payor. Further, there are Federal tax rules that require the payments to be in cash or its equivalent, that you and your ex- cannot reside in the same household, and that you cannot file joint returns. On the other hand, assets transferred pursuant to the divorce (like bank account balances or real estate title) are not included in your taxable income.

Paul Premack is a Certified Elder Law Attorney practicing estate planning and probate law in San Antonio.

Original Publication: San Antonio Express News, March 19, 2012