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Brooklyn, NY Divorce and Family Law

Paying alimony? Be sure to keep records

Your divorce settlement included a provision that you pay spousal support to your ex-wife. The divorce was messy and you have a feeling that your ex is going to challenge your payments at some point. Instead of finding yourself in a he-said-she-said situation in front of the court, come prepared with proof of your payments.

At the very least, your accountant will appreciate your record keeping when it comes time to file your taxes. The alimony payments you have been making are tax deductible. Therefore, in case the IRS decides to audit you, you need to have good records on hand to prove the amounts you paid.

What type of documentation should you keep? How long should you keep it? To ensure that you are keeping appropriate information regarding alimony payments, contact a local New York divorce attorney for advice.

Read below for guidelines on what the alimony payer should keep.

Payment schedule

Keep a schedule that lists when you made each payment. Be sure to include the check number of the payment, the address to where you sent it, the date of payment and the date your ex cashed it. Also, get copies of the canceled checks from the bank.

Copies

Make a copy of each check you write for alimony. On the description line, write in the month for which you are paying the alimony.

Receipts

If you make any alimony payments by cash, write out a receipt. Your ex-wife should sign and date it to verify receipt. Be sure that, like checks, you include the month for which you are making the payment.

Time

For tax purposes, the IRS requires that you keep all records for at least three years in case they audit you for a return that claims an alimony deduction. However, many people suggest that you keep these records indefinitely. You never know when your ex might decide to challenge the support payments you have been making. Protect yourself in case she decides to take you to court. Documentation can be your best friend when going before a family law judge.

Whether you maintain an amicable relationship with your ex-spouse or a contentious one, it is always better to be in a position to protect your interests. Keeping records of your alimony payments will help you if she ever decides to take you back to court to challenge the support. Do not walk into a family law court with only those documents. Contact a local New York divorce attorney for advice on handling you ex-wife's alimony challenge.

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