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Paying spousal support and tax deductions

Connecticut residents who are making alimony payments might wonder how they can make certain those payments are tax deductible. There are a few requirements. The first is that the payment has to be included in a written separation or divorce agreement, and the agreement cannot specifically say that the payment is not alimony.

The payment also must be made directly or on behalf of the recipient. Instances of the latter include payments to attorneys and mortgage lenders. There must also be an arrangement in place that the alimony ends on the death of the recipient. The payment cannot be part of child support, and it must be cash or the equivalent of cash. Finally, following the legal separation or divorce, the two people cannot live under the same roof or file a joint 1040 tax return.

It is possible that a child support payment could be included in the overall payment to the ex-spouse without being specifically designated as such. There are several ways to differentiate this from the alimony payment. This may be the portion of the payment that ends when the child reaches a certain age, finishes school, marries or leaves the household or in the event of the child's death. The deduction may be calculated differently if for the first two years of the marriage, the alimony payments are front-loaded.

People who are getting a divorce may be concerned about paying or receiving spousal support. However, these payments may be temporary. For example, if one spouse has a much lower income than the other or does not work outside of the home, the payments may only last while the person retrains or returns to school to prepare for a new career. A person who is struggling to collect or pay spousal or child support may want to talk to an attorney about options.

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