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Are legal fees pertaining to a child support case tax deductible?

Garden Grove, CA |

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Attorney answers 4


This is a question better posed to an accountant. However, I believe that your legal fees incurred as a result of a child support case are NOT tax deductible. If it is any consolation, the child support received/paid is also not deductible. Spousal support on the other hand, is charged to the recipient as income and deducted from the payor. It wouldn't hurt to ask an accountant under what circumstances legal fees are deductible.

Please note that this answer does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied on, as each situation is fact specific, and it is not possible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and court pleadings filed in the case. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship


Child support is not deductible no more than if you could deduct the money you spent if the child were living with you. You may may entitled to the either 1) to claim the child as you exemption or two 2) split the tax exemption with your former spouse. Your right to the exemption may be governed by what the judge ordered in the support order. Review your support order or ask the attorney who represented you in this matter.

THESE COMMENTS ARE NOT LEGAL ADVICE. They are provided for informational purposes only. Actual legal advice can only be provided after consultation by an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction. The answer to question does not create an attorney-client relationship or otherwise require further consultation. Mr. Smith is licensed to practice law throughout the state of California with offices in Los Angeles County. He is authorized to handle IRS matters throughout the United States, and is also licensed to practice before the United States Tax Court. His phone number is 323-292-4116 or his email address is


No, this is a personal expense and not deductible.

Any individual seeking legal advice for their own situation should retain their own legal counsel as this response provides information that is general in nature and not specific to any person's unique situation. Circular 230 Disclaimer - Advice given in this response cannot be used to eliminate penalties with the IRS or any other governmental agency.


Generally, any attorney fees related to divorce proceedings including child support is not deductible. However, in some circumstances you may be able to claim a deduction for attorney fees paid for divorce proceedings to the extent that they are incurred to produce income that can be included in your gross income. Spousal support is included in your gross income and any attorney fees paid for spousal support is deductible. However, the rules are different for child support. The receiving parent does not pay tax on child support. Child support is not included in your gross income and so attorney fees in a child support lawsuit are not tax deductible,

You might also be interested in learning about child support and tax exemptions, visit our links.

Chris Cook
Thomas Hogan Law Office
331 J St. #200
Sacramento, CA
Tel. #: (916) 756-0243

Legal Disclaimer: The answer above should not be relied upon as legal advice. The information provided above is based on insufficient facts. No warranty is provided that the answer is correct. No attorney-client relationship has been formed with me until a signed written contract is complete. For an official opinion, it is advised that you seek legal counsel.