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Recordkeeping, alimony and you

While many people call it spousal support, some are more familiar with the term "alimony." Either way, this is a form of financial compensation paid by one spouse to another spouse to ensure that the effects of divorce don't dramatically affect one spouse over another (in a financial sense). Alimony is a more negotiable element in a divorce than child custody. But once it is awarded, the people involved need t be prepared to keep track of their alimony.

There are serious tax implications to alimony. The paying spouse can deduct his or her spousal support payments from their taxes, while the spouse that receives the payments must include that money as part of his or her taxable income.

Your taxes are a big reason to keep records of your alimony payments, but you should track the payments for litigation purposes too. There is a bevy of important information involved in alimony payments, such as:

  • The date of the payment
  • The address the payment was sent to/from
  • The date the check was cashed (or if cash was used for the payment, the participants should create their own paper receipt for the transaction and sign it)
  • The bank that was used for the payment and the account number used

Each spouse should track this information, either electronically or on paper. Having these records could substantiate your claims or defend you against the claims of your ex-spouse if litigation is brought before a court.

Source: FindLaw, "Alimony Guidelines: What Records to Keep Regarding Your Alimony," Accessed April 13, 2017

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