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Records of alimony should be retained for tax purposes

For Connecticut couples who have gone through a divorce, keeping records of alimony payments can help them if they are subsequently audited by the IRS or if one of the parties goes to court regarding an alleged lack of payment. They want to keep records for at least three years and possibly for even longer if they anticipate having to go back to court, which can happen if there is an attempt to modify alimony payment amounts or durations.

Both the payers as well as the recipients of spousal support should keep copies of checks and receipts for court and tax purposes. For payers, carbon copies of checks can help them to show the amount of payments, check numbers and recipients. They also want to keep track of the addresses to which they send the checks. Recipients should make and retain copies of checks and detailed records of the total amount received each year. Having records of payments can be important because the IRS treats most forms of alimony as both deductible by the payer and as income to the recipient.

Many courts determine the amount and period of time of alimony payments on a case-by-case basis and in accordance with state guidelines. They do not always award alimony but may be more apt to if one spouse had a lower-paying job than the other during their marriage or opted to not work in order to take care of the children and the family home.

When making decisions on alimony, courts will look at a number of factors, including the length of time a couple has been married, each person's health and employment status and the needs of children. A person who is contemplating a divorce and who will be requesting alimony may wish to consult with a family law attorney in order to determine the likelihood of its being awarded.

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