If you pay alimony or anticipate ongoing alimony factoring into your divorce, then you want to make sure that you keep proper documentation of your payments, as well as a number of other documents and types of information. By maintaining good records, you can avoid unnecessary conflicts with your ex-spouse and make the most of any tax benefits.
While you may not choose to keep every piece of documentation depending on your circumstances, you may want to keep
- Copies of checks made out to your ex-spouse, including check number
- Alternative documentation if you do not use checks
- A written and signed receipt for any alimony payments made in cash
You can save yourself a great deal of frustration by remaining mindful to note that the payment is for a specific month or alimony period on the memo line of any checks that you write. You should generally keep all this information for at least three years in case of additional scrutiny from the Internal Revenue Service.
It is also wise to make sure you understand all of your options when it comes to claiming appropriate deductions on your tax returns. The deductions are often significant, and can help soften the blow of the alimony price tag, but claiming them without proper documentation may lead to needless conflicts later on.
However you choose to proceed, be sure that you fully understand your goals as well as your available strategies to achieve those goals. An experienced divorce attorney will work to keep your rights secure as you work toward fully addressing your alimony obligations.
Source: Findlaw, "Alimony Guidelines: What Records to Keep Regarding Your Alimony," accessed Dec. 07, 2017