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Alimony recordkeeping: a necessary habit during and after divorce

Spouses aren't going to agree on everything, and this is especially true both during and after the spouses have filed for divorce. This can lead to litigation once the divorce is complete, consuming time and adding stress to your already time-scarce and too-stressful life. So how can you protect yourself from some of this litigation?

This post focuses on just one aspect - spousal support (also referred to as "alimony"). You can protect yourself from extraneous litigation (or during such litigation) by keeping detailed records of the payments you make or the payments your receive. So if your paying spouse fails to pay you on time or at all, or if your receiving spouse claims that you are not paying enough, you can produce the records in court to show how the payments have been handled.

There is a lot of information to track when it comes to these spousal support/alimony payments. There is the check number, the date it was sent and received, the bank used for the transaction, and the amount written on the check. You can also create your own receipts for payments if the paying spouse uses cash instead of checks.

Keeping these records has an added bonus of helping you out come tax time. The paying spouse can deduct the payments from his or her taxes. The receiving spouse, meanwhile, must include the payments as part of his or her taxable income.

Source: FindLaw, "Alimony Guidelines: What Records to Keep Regarding Your Alimony," Accessed May 26, 2017

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