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When alimony is awarded, what should you do?

Alimony, often called spousal support, is a form of compensation that can financially balance the post-divorce lives of two people that end their marriage. This doesn't mean that it will be "equal" in a financial sense after a divorce -- but it can help the spouse that may have sacrificed his or her career or professional prospects for the good of the marriage.

When it is awarded (and it is not guaranteed in every divorce), the spouses involved need to prepare themselves for the implications of these support payments. There are tax implications to having alimony involved in your divorce. The paying spouse can deduct the payments from his or her taxes, while the receiving spouse must include that compensation in their taxable income.

Then there are the records you need to keep when alimony is involved in your divorce. Whether you are the receiving spouse or the paying spouse, recording this information is important. For every payment, you should track:

  • The date of the payment
  • The address that you sent it from or received it from (or sent it to or received it at)
  • The amount of the payment itself
  • Any identifying information about the payment (i.e. the bank used, the account number, the check number, etc.)
  • A copy of the check if possible, or a signed receipt created by the spouses if cash is used

Alimony should not be taken lightly. Prepare yourself for the recordkeeping stage of your post-divorce life.

Source: FindLaw, "Alimony Guidelines: What Records to Keep Regarding Your Alimony," Accessed March 13, 2018

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