Law Office of Kevin L. Beard, P.A.

Paying alimony? Be sure to keep records

As part of your upcoming divorce, you may end up making alimony payments to your ex-wife. The court might order you to continue making monthly payments until your ex is either capable of reasonably supporting herself or remarries. As with other transactions, it is important to keep records of the alimony payments you make. This is especially true if you and your spouse have a contentious divorce. There is always the possibility that your ex may choose to challenge the amount of alimony you are paying. Or, the Internal Revenue Services (IRS) may choose to look into the alimony expense you are claiming on your tax return.

If you are considering divorce, it is important to take steps to protect your interests. An experienced divorce attorney in the Catonsville area can advise you on working out a settlement or taking your divorce to the courtroom. Read further for more information on what alimony documentation you should keep.

Make a list

Keep a list of every payment you make to your ex-wife. Be sure to include the payment dates, check numbers and the mailing address where you sent the check. If possible, obtain copies of the processed checks from your bank as well.

Check copies

Before you send each alimony check to your wife, make a copy of it. The check should contain a note in the memo that is alimony for a certain month or time period. While this may seem redundant if you can obtain copies of the cashed checks from your bank, it is always safer to have extra documentation.


If you pay your ex-wife in cash, have her sign a receipt acknowledging the amount she received on the specific date. You can keep a receipt book or hand-written acknowledgements of receipt. As long as your ex-wife signs and dates the receipt with the amount you paid, it is useful documentation.

If you find yourself facing an IRS audit questioning the amount of alimony you are claiming as a deduction on your tax return, these records provide evidence for your claim. Such documentation may also come in handy if you find yourself in court because your ex has challenged your payments, requests additional alimony, or if you are requesting a modification.

If you are considering divorce, you may have questions concerning alimony payments you may have to make. An experienced family law attorney can help you with any alimony issues you might experience, both before and after your divorce.

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