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On record-keeping and alimony

Alimony is an incredibly important part of family law. It helps people who made certain sacrifices during marriage, or require a certain financial footing to live their life, to move on after a divorce. If alimony is awarded in your divorce, whether you are the paying spouse or the receiving spouse, there are some specific steps you will want to take in order to ensure you are properly keeping track of your alimony.

Arguably the most important thing to remember about alimony is that it has massive tax implications for the former spouses. If you are the paying spouse, the alimony that you pay can be deducted from you tax filing. And if you are the receiving spouse, that alimony is part of your taxable income. Reporting this correctly is very important.

More generally, though, you need to track your alimony payments whether you are the paying spouse or the receiving spouse.

If you are the paying spouse, you should get a check book that makes carbon copies of the checks you write for alimony. If you can't get one, then track your own alimony payments. Keep a record of the check number, the amount the check is written for, the bank utilized and where the check was sent to.

If you are the receiving spouse, you should keep track of the same information on your own. If, however, your former spouse pays you in cash, make sure the two of you create a receipt for the transaction.

Source: FindLaw, "Alimony Guidelines: What Records to Keep Regarding Your Alimony," Accessed Dec. 31, 2015

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