2.9 divorces occur for every 1,000 people. If you find that you’re going through a divorce, then you may also have heard the term alimony thrown around. Before you are faced with alimony payments, you must know the ins and outs of Alimony law.
In this guide, we’re going to provide you with all of the information that you need to know as it pertains to spouse maintenance. Please continue reading below to find out everything that you need to know.
What is Alimony?
Before we can begin to talk about Alimony law, you must understand what alimony is. Alimony is when the court orders one party to pay their former space a specific amount for a specified duration of time.
There are several reasons that your former spouse may be awarded alimony including:
- Low income
- No income
If you were the family’s breadwinner, you could expect to pay some form of spousal support. However, some things can also terminate spousal support, which we will get into in just a moment.
Now that you know what spousal support is, we can begin to talk about Alimony law below.
What Happens If I’m Ordered to Pay Alimony?
If you’ve been court-ordered to pay alimony, the amount that you will have to pay will be detailed by the court. The judge will also set the number of years that you will have to continue paying this support to your former spouse.
If you’re the one who’s been ordered to make payments, there are some things you need to do throughout the time you’re making payments. The first thing that you need to do is keep a record of all the payments that you’ve made.
You should also include the date the payment was made and the check number. The reason for doing this is so that you have proof in case your former spouse attempts to accuse you of skipping a payment.
Another thing that you’re going to want to do when making payments is either keep the original check copy or the receipts. All of the receipts that you pile up overtime should be kept all in one spot.
This will come in hand when you’ve got to file your taxes; you’ll be able to provide your tax agent with specific amounts for your file. If you decide to make pay in cash, always ask for a receipt as proof that you made them.
Receiving End of Alimony
When you’re the person that is accepting the payments, then there are also some things that you need to do. Before you proceed with your divorce and throughout your divorce proceedings, you’ll need to ensure that you’ve got an experienced attorney on your side.
They will fight for the things that you want out of your divorce and help you achieve the settlement that you desired. After being awarded alimony, the first thing you should do whenever you’ve received a payment is to record the dates and amount of your payments.
You’ll also want to keep photocopies of the checks you’ve received and information about the account that the payments go to. If you find that your spouse stops making payments, you need to inform your legal team to begin taking legal action immediately.
When legal action occurs, the court can then force them to resume making payments or face penalties.
What Terminates Payments?
As mentioned above, there are some reasons that alimony payments become void. The first reason that alimony payments would stop is if the number of years that the judge ordered for payments has passed.
Ensure that if you’re making payments or receiving payments, you understand how long you’ll be receiving them. If your children reach the age where they’ve moved out of the home and began taking care of themselves, that would be another reason that payments would cease.
Part of alimony payments is to ensure that children continue receiving the appropriate care. And when children become older, they no longer rely on their parents for that care.
If your former spouse remarries, then payments cease because your spouse now has a new source of financial stability. Payments may also cease, if the judge determines that your spouse is making an effort for replacement income.
Alimony Payments and Taxes
If you find that you’re paying alimony to your former spouse, then there is a benefit to making the payments. That benefit happens to be that alimony payments are, in fact, tax-deductible if your divorce was before January 2019. We know this is a letdown for those whose divorces took place after the cutoff date.
However, with any other form of deductions, you claim on your taxes you must have proof to list that particular deductible.
If your divorce took place before that date, you should have kept records of the payments until the law changed. If your court-ordered payments fall after the IRS’s date, then you may not have any deductions to make. However, there are some changes your former spouse will need to be aware of.
If you’re receiving alimony, you need to understand that you will have to pay taxes on the amount you receive. If you’re the spouse paying the alimony, it’s prudent to have your divorce attorney argue for the lowest alimony payment possible.
Related Article: 5 Tips for Dealing With a Divorce Litigation
Understanding Alimony Law
We understand that when it comes to alimony law, things can become confusing. And that’s why we provided you with the guide and information that can be found above.
When you’re going through a divorce needing help with alimony, you need to have the best legal team behind you. They need to be experienced in order to get you the best results. Book your consult today with John T. Fields and let us go to work for.
We’ve got the experience and knowledge that you need on your side.