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Important reminder: keep records during spousal support payments

Many Texas residents may have heard of divorcing couples dealing with alimony, or spousal support. This is a process by which one spouse pays the other spouse, either indefinitely or for a specified amount of time, to fulfill a financial need in the eyes of the court. When spousal support is awarded, a judge will look at a number of factors to determine the ultimate amount of alimony and for how long the payments just be made.

But once those payments begin, both spouses have a big responsibility that they need to fulfill: they need to keep accurate records of the alimony payments to not only protect themselves, but to also ensure they can address the alimony during tax season. Given that taxes are due in a couple of month, this is an especially pertinent part of the discussion today.

As an alimony payer, you are allowed to deduct those payments from your taxes when you file. On the other side of the equation, the spouse receiving those payments must include that money in his or her income on their taxes.

As far as record-keeping goes, both spouses should keep similar records about the alimony payments. The check number; the bank account; the amount paid; when it was mailed or delivered and when it was received are all important pieces of information to log and keep track of. In addition, if you are the paying spouse, you should try to get a check book that makes carbon copies of checks.

Source: FindLaw, "Alimony Guidelines: What Records to Keep Regarding Your Alimony," Accessed Feb. 19, 2016

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