Informal Payments

When my (not yet)-ex-husband left our home in June 2012, we signed a paper we wrote ourselves saying that he would temporarily pay me $2000 per month. It is not notarized. The wording is “He will continue to support the 2 children by paying $2,000 per month for household bills until a Separation Agreement is signed.”. Well here we are over a year later, no agreement in place and we are headed to mediation and perhaps litigation. He has paid me each month (although several months were $1800, not $2000). My question is, for 2013 can I declare all of the money he paid to me as child support since we worded it as such in our 1-page document? or can he try to say that a portion of it was alimony? I asked my accountant but she said its a question for a lawyer.

Also, is this 1page document considered a ‘separation instrument’ according to the IRS? Or does a ‘separation instrument’ mean a real one draw up by a lawyer?
thanks much, this forum is so helpful!

Unless the document clearly states that the support provided is alimony and should be taxable to you, you should consider it as child support for taxation purposes and not include it as income. Since the document is not notarized and not enforceable, it is not a valid separation agreement.