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Paying or receiving spousal support? Keep detailed records!

One divorce factor that some people may not know a lot about is spousal support. Often called alimony, this form of financial support helps one of the spouses who may not be in as advantageous of a position after the divorce than the other spouse. One spouse may have given up his or her career to take care of a child, or maybe their professional prospects simply aren't as bountiful as their soon-to-be-former spouse, and a divorce would create harsh conditions for them.

This is where spousal support can be helpful. What some people don't know about spousal support, though, is that the people involved in the arrangement need to keep meticulous records of their payments for a number of reasons:

  • Their are serious tax implications for people who pay or receive spousal support. The paying individual can deduct his or her payments from their taxes, while the individual receiving the payments must include that income on their taxes.
  • The paying spouse should keep detailed records so that he or she can effectively combat any claims that his or her former spouse may make in regards to a late or allegedly non-existent payment. If you pay by check, get a checkbook that makes carbon copies. If you pay by cash, make your own handwritten receipt and make sure your former spouse signs and dates the receipt. Regardless of how you pay, keep other information too -- such as the check number, the date of the payment, where you mailed it to or where the delivery occurred, and when the check was cashed.
  • The receiving spouse should keep the same information, with the additional supporting information of the paying individual's bank and account number.

Source: FindLaw, "Alimony Guidelines: What Records to Keep Regarding Your Alimony," Accessed Aug. 29, 2016

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