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How alimony impacts your financial responsibilities

Let's say that you and your spouse decide to file for divorce. There are a lot of factors that you have to consider, and you're going to have to deal with them in an efficient and adequate manner. One factor that could be involved in your divorce (though it is not necessarily a guarantee to be involved in any divorce) is spousal support.

When spousal support is awarded, both spouses will suddenly have some new responsibilities, and they may have to change some of their spending patterns and alter their budgetary plans. The paying spouse will obviously have some serious responsibilities to live up to now, but the receiving spouse will also need to carefully plan their finances for the future.

For example, if you are the paying spouse, you can actually deduct your spousal support payments from your taxes. The receiving spouse, to the contrary, must include those payments on their taxes as part of their income.

So what planning needs to be done for all of this? Well, record-keeping is a major component of the spousal support process. The paying spouse should get special checkbooks that make carbon copies of any check you write. Even if you do get such a checkbook, you should still keep separate records that confirm the same information, such as the check number, the amount the check was written for, when the check was written and who/where it was sent to.

The receiving spouse should also keep this information, in addition to creating handwritten receipts in the situation that your ex-spouse pays by cash.

Source: FindLaw, "Alimony Guidelines: What Records to Keep Regarding Your Alimony," Accessed Oct. 15, 2015

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