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On recordkeeping and alimony

Alimony and spousal support are one and the same. These support payments are crucial for former spouses who need the financial support to help them live their post-divorce lives. When it is involved in your divorce, spousal support becomes a critical topic that you need to track -- regardless of whether you are the paying spouse or the receiving spouse.

The paying spouse should get a carbon-copy checkbook to track all of his or her checks. If this is unavailable to you, keep an electronic record of you payments, including all of the information on the check (amount paid, the bank, the check number, date of payment, etc) and any mailing information (address it was sent to, the time it was sent, any proof of mailing). If you pay by cash, make sure you create a paper receipt that is signed by your former spouse to confirm the delivery. This information will be critical if your former spouse files legal action against you, as well as being important for your tax filing. Your spousal support payments are tax deductible.

The receiving spouse should also keep records that detail the same information. In addition, though, the receiving spouse should note what bank the check is drawing from. You should also make a copy of the check and/or the receipt that denotes confirmation of delivery or payment. As the receiving spouse, the income from these support payments must be included as part of your income on your tax filing.

Source: FindLaw, "Alimony Guidelines: What Records to Keep Regarding Your Alimony," Accessed May 18, 2016

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