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Pay or receive spousal support? Be organized and meticulous

In our last, we talked about spousal support and what a spouse can expect from alimony in terms of the length of time you will pay or receive the support payments. We also discussed the different types of spousal support available in California.

Today, we want to continue the discussion about spousal support but take it in a slightly different direction. If you are awarded spousal support, it is important for you as either the paying spouse or the receiving spouse to track those payments and keep electronic records about the details of the payments.

There are two crucial reasons to keep a record of the payments. The first is to have your own evidence and paper trail in case any litigation or legal action takes place in the future. In such a case, you would want to have the date, addresses used, payment amount, the bank used, the account type, the account number, and even a carbon copy of the check for every payment you have received. If the paying spouse uses cash, create paper receipts (and sign them!) to confirm a payment was made.

The other reason this recordkeeping is important is because there are tax implications to spousal support. The paying spouse can actually deduct the payments from his or her taxes, while the spouse that receives the alimony has to include the income as part of his or her taxable income.

Source: FindLaw, "Alimony Guidelines: What Records to Keep Regarding Your Alimony," Accessed March 30, 2018

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