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What documentation should I keep regarding alimony payments?

Divorce settlements sometimes require that one person pays spousal support to the other person. If this is one of the terms of your divorce, it is vital that you keep appropriate records regarding the payments for a variety of reasons.

Why should I keep accurate and comprehensive records?

One of the main reasons why you should keep accurate and comprehensive records of alimony payments is because of tax laws. If you are receiving alimony, those payments are considered income. If you are paying alimony, the payments you make are tax deductible. Keeping good records can help you prove how much you received or paid if there is any discrepancy in the amounts. In addition to the tax reasons, these records can also help you if you have to return to court for issues with the alimony payments.

What should I do if I receive alimony payments?

If you are the recipient of the payment, you should keep a record of each payment you receive. This should include the date received, the method of payment and the amount of the payment. If you were paid in cash, get a copy of the signed cash receipt that you signed when the cash was given to you. If you were paid with a check or money order, keep the check or instrument number, the account number and the institution name. If you can, make a copy of the check or money order prior to cashing it.

What should I do if I pay alimony?

If you pay alimony, you should keep a record of all payments. Carbon copies of checks, money order receipts and signed cash receipts are some of the documents you should keep. When you make a payment to your ex, make sure you note that the payment is an alimony payment. You can do this in the Memo line of a check or money order or on the receipt for a cash payment.

Alimony payments must be taken seriously. If you don't understand your alimony order or if you have questions about your divorce settlement, make sure you get the information you need as soon as possible.

Source: FindLaw, "Alimony Guidelines: What Records to Keep Regarding Your Alimony," accessed June 26, 2015

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