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What counts as an alimony payment in Massachusetts

Alimony payments are payments made to a spouse following a divorce, and they may be ordered by the court or based on an agreement between the divorcing couple. It is important to note that monthly spousal support payments are not the only types of payouts that may be considered to go towards someone's alimony obligations.

Based on federal tax law, payments are considered to be alimony payments if a couple do not file taxes together, if payments are made in cash, which includes checks and money orders and if payments are made to or received on behalf of a former spouse. Payments may also count as alimony if a couple is legally separated and the couple was not in the same household when payments were made. On the other hand, if a payment is declared specifically not as alimony in a decree, it will not count towards alimony. Child support payments are also not ever able to be considered spousal support payments.

There are a variety of financial issues that people will need to address when they get a divorce. Along with alimony, couples will have to determine if child support will be paid and in what amounts as well as dividing up all assets a couple has. This can include everything from retirement accounts to jewelry.

How asset division and child support are determined may also have an impact on someone's alimony obligations. For example, giving up more assets during property division may allow someone to reduce the alimony they owe. A lawyer may be able to explain to someone how the law determines these matters as well as working with the individual to obtain an equitable outcome for them.

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