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Which parent gets child tax credit payments in shared parenting agreements?

On Behalf of | Jul 14, 2021 | Child Custody

Child tax credit payments are early payments of the child tax credit you can claim on your taxes when you have children under the age of 17. A special ruling allows these payments.

If you have shared custody, it can alter your taxes in many ways. It may also make you wonder who will get the payments. CNet explains only one of you can get the child tax credit payment and collecting a payment erroneously could lead to issues.

The basic rules

The child tax credit payment will go to the parent who claimed the child on his or her taxes. If you alternate years, the payment should go to whoever will claim the children on the taxes for the current year. For example, if you get the payment in 2021, then you need to be the parent claiming the child on your 2021 taxes.

Keep in mind the reasoning here is because the payments are an early refund of the credit for taxes you will file for the current year. If you claimed the children the previous year, then you should not get the payment.


If you get a payment and you are not the parent claiming the children, you need to contact the IRS. You will have to pay back anything you receive that is not meant to go to you.

Also, keep in mind, these payments are only available if you have an adjusted gross income of under $75,000. If you think your income will be more, then you should opt out of the payments and return any you receive because you will have to pay them back if you do not qualify for them once you do file your taxes.