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Alimony: how to keep proper records

Whether you're the one paying or receiving alimony, you'll want to make sure you keep careful records. There are a few good reasons to do so. For the person paying alimony, the total of the payments is tax-deductible at the end of the year. For the person receiving alimony, those payments will be considered income by the IRS, and you'll need to pay taxes on it. Also, you'll want to keep good records in case your ex-spouse claims they paid and didn't or your ex-spouse claims they never received payment but did.

If you're the person paying alimony, you'll want to keep:

  • A list of every payment you've made, with the check number and the address to which it went.
  • A copy of every check, with the memo saying "for alimony."
  • If you pay in cash, have your ex-spouse sign for it and keep a record of each monthly signature.

If you're the one receiving alimony, you'll want to keep a detailed list with:

  • The date and amount of each check received.
  • The account number the check came from.
  • The name of the issuing bank.
  • A copy of the money order or check.
  • In the case of cash payments, a copy of your signature on a receipt with the payment information.

In both cases, the payor and the payee will want to hang on to these for at least three years.

If you have questions about your alimony or any other issues with your divorce, you can bring them to a family law attorney.

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