Alimony Payments – Need to Keep Detailed Records

alimony detailed recordsA court may make orders for the payment of alimony, also known as spousal support, whether temporary or permanent, and for a definite or indefinite period of time, upon the motion of either party for alimony payments if made within 5 years of the Decree of Divorce, taking into consideration the factors enumerated at N.H. RSA 458-19.  See our previous blog titled Alimony Factors in NH.

Alimony payments are considered taxable income to the party receiving alimony, and are tax-deductible for the party making the payments.  As a result, it is very important that both parties maintain detailed records of the payments in the event the IRS (or your ex-spouse) questions the amounts that were actually paid/received.  If the paying party is not able to provide the IRS with proof of the alimony paid, they may lose out on the tax deduction.  Further, the paying party could find themselves on the receiving end of a contempt action if the receiving party alleges that alimony was not paid.  Likewise, the recipient of alimony will need to have detailed records of payments received, including any amounts that are less than the court-ordered amount, in the event a Motion for Contempt is necessary.

It is recommended that the paying party maintain a list of all payments made, noting the dates sent and the amounts, and keep a copy of each check or money order (noting on the memo line which month the payment is for).  Although cash payments are not recommended, if you do pay in cash, be sure to get a signed receipt from the recipient and keep it for your records.

The recipient of alimony should also keep a list detailing all payments collected, noting the dates received and the amounts paid, and keep a copy of each check, money order, or signed receipt.