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What alimony-related records should the payer keep?

Paying alimony every month is not easy for an ex-spouse to do. Nevertheless, it's a legal requirement for ex-spouses to make their monthly payment obligations if the court has ordered it. In addition to making his or her payments, though, the alimony payer will also want to keep appropriate documentation of those payments and a variety of other information.

If you are paying alimony, here's what you need to keep on hand:

-- Documentation listing every payment, along with the check number, the amount of the check, the name and address the check was mailed to, a copy of the check before it was sent and a copy of the final cashed check if provided by the bank.

-- In the check copy, be sure that the check includes the month that the alimony payment is for.

-- Signed receipts for any alimony payments made with cash.

At a minimum, alimony payers should save the above records for three years following the tax filing date for which the information applies. However, there are certain experts who recommend never throwing away this information. It could prove essential in the event of a court-related challenge, for example, if the receiving spouse claims that he or she did not receive the required payments.

Chronic failure to pay alimony payments on time will usually result in a North Carolina resident facing legal action. The consequences of late alimony could include fees, wage garnishing and other punishments. If you have been accused not paying alimony, it's important to handle your defense against the allegations carefully and responsibly.

Source: FindLaw, "Alimony Guidelines: What Records to Keep Regarding Your Alimony," accessed Feb. 23, 2017