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Tax deductions and spousal support

A Northern Kentucky divorce often includes the requirement that one of the parties pays alimony. That alimony may be tax deductible, but only under certain circumstances.

The alimony has to be named in the separation or divorce agreement, and the agreement must not specify that the payment is not considered alimony. For example, it should not say that the payment is nontaxable. If a portion of the payment is child support, that is also not tax deductible. If the child support amount is not explicitly stated, it can be identified as the amount that ends when the child reaches a certain age, marries, gets a job, reaches a certain income level, moves out of the home, finishes school or dies. Any payment that is not alimony or child support will be considered part of the property settlement and is also not tax deductible.

The alimony must come to an end if the recipient dies. It must be paid to the ex-spouse or on behalf of the ex-spouse in cash or cash equivalent. For example, alimony could be a monthly mortgage payment for the ex-spouse's home. Once the divorce or legal separation is final, the couple can no longer live together. They are also not permitted to file a joint tax return.

People may be required to pay child and spousal support on a temporary basis during the process of divorce, and that amount could be revised or it could remain the same after the divorce is final. Spousal support may also be temporary. If a person who pays child or spousal support suffers a financial downturn that necessitates a reduction in the amount paid, an attorney can often help seek a modification by filing an appropriate motion with the court having jurisdiction over the matter.

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