What Alimony Records Do I Need to Keep?


In a Pasadena divorce, a spouse can receive alimony if the courts determine that payments are necessary to help him or her become self supporting. Alimony is most often given if the spouse sacrificed his or her career to stay at home to raise the couple's children or otherwise supported the career of the higher earning spouse.

While alimony can be a vital part of your post divorce financial security, it is important that you realize alimony is not "free" money. If you are receiving alimony from your ex, it is considered taxable income. You must report alimony payments when filing your state and federal tax returns. If you do not report the income, you will face harsh penalties.

If you are receiving alimony, you should keep the following records:

  • The day you received the payment
  • The amount of the payment
  • The check number or other identifying information such as the number of the money order
  • The account number on which any check is written
  • The name of bank on which check is drawn or money order issued
  • A photocopy of the check or money order
  • A copy of any signed receipt you provided for cash payments, if applicable

After a divorce, it is surprisingly common for the IRS to dispute alimony claims. Your ex will be deducting the amount of money paid in alimony, so it is important that your records match his or her claims.

You don't need to keep records of how you spend your alimony check, as this is left to your discretion. However, if you want to go to court post-divorce to increase your spousal support amount, you will need to show that your circumstances have changed significantly. If you need more support because of large medical bills, having to quit your job to care for your ill child, or some other form of financial crisis, you will need to be able to show the court why your current support does not meet your needs.

How Can We Help?

If you have questions about alimony laws in California or if you know of someone who can use our help, please contact our office at (626) 683-8113 or email us at info@PasadenaLawOffice.com. Our attorneys have extensive experience dealing with divorces that involve spousal support.