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Paying or receiving alimony? Time to get organized

Spousal support is a critical component to many divorces all across the country. However, this does not mean that it will be included in any particular divorce. A judge will determine if alimony (spousal support) is to be included in your particular divorce. But let's say that you do get awarded alimony, or that a judge orders that you must pay your ex-spouse alimony. What happens next?

The most important thing that either the paying or receiving spouse can do in an alimony arrangement is to keep track of the payments. There are two important reasons for this. First, there are tax implications to alimony. Alimony is tax deductible for the paying spouse while the receiving spouse must include the spousal support payments as part of his or her taxable income. Second, there could be litigation that occurs down the line that requires meticulous documentation of your spousal support payments.

With that in mind, what information should you track from your alimony payments? All of the basic data should be recorded, whether you do that on your own or with the benefit of a carbon copy of a check. So, you should have the date of the payment, the amount of the payment, the bank used for the payment, the check number, and the address that was used (both the sending address and receiving address).

You should also be prepared to create your own receipt if the paying spouse uses cash. Make sure both parties sign the receipt too if a check is not used.

Source: FindLaw, "Alimony Guidelines: What Records to Keep Regarding Your Alimony," Accessed Aug. 7, 2017

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