If you have been ordered to make spousal support payments as part of your Pasadena divorce settlement, careful record keeping is a necessity.
Alimony payments are a tax deductible expense. Depending on your income and the amount of your alimony payments, the deduction can be worth a substantial amount of money. If you're paying alimony, you should keep detailed records of every payment you make. If you're paying by check, mark the date, check number, and address of all checks you've sent. Keep the original checks in a safe place, such as a safe deposit box. If you're paying in cash, get dated receipts for each payment signed by the recipient.
Records should be kept for at least three years from the date of the tax return in which you are claiming the alimony as a deduction. However, there are some tax preparers who suggest keeping alimony payment records indefinitely. In this digital age, it might be a good idea to scan the originals and keep digital copies on your computer where they can live forever -- and make sure the computer is backed up to an external hard drive.
If your financial situation changes while you are paying alimony and you can no longer afford to continue paying spousal support, you will need to petition the court to have your payments reduced. To do so, you'll need to show evidence of your change in circumstances. This might include pay stubs, bank statements, or a termination letter from your employer. Gather this information together as soon as possible to start the process of getting your alimony payments reduced. It takes a while for your reduction to be approved, but the court can apply the reduction in payments back to the date of filing. If you wait to file, you simply accumulate more debt.
How Can We Help?
If you have questions about your spousal support payments, please call our office at (626) 683-8113 or email us at info@PasadenaLawOffice.com. Our Pasadena family law lawyers can evaluate your case to make sure that you're not paying any more support than what is legally required.