Records to Keep When You Receive or Pay Alimony in a Massachusetts Divorce

You must keep adequate records if you are paying or receiving alimony. This point cannot be over-emphasized. Frequently after a divorce, the spouses dispute, or the IRS challenges, the amounts which were actually paid or received. Without adequate documentation, the payer may lose the alimony tax deduction and be ordered to pay back support if the other spouse makes a claim in court.


Here are suggestions of records to keep:

  • list showing each payment (date, check number, place where sent)
  • original checks used for payments (keep in a safe place, such as a safe deposit box) -- be sure to note on each check the month for which the support is being paid, and
  • a receipt signed by the recipient, if you pay in cash.

Be sure to keep these records for at least three years from the date you file the tax return deducting the payments.


Make a list which shows each payment received. Include the following information:

  • date payment was received
  • amount received
  • check number or other identifying document (for example, the number of the money order)
  • account number on which any check is written
  • name of bank on which check is drawn or money order issued
  • a photocopy of the check or money order, and
  • a copy of any signed receipt you give for cash payments.


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