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How alimony is treated for tax purposes

When people get divorced in Georgia, they realize how many expenses they were able to share, which allowed them maintain their lifestyle. After a divorce, people need to start paying for their separate expenses, which can double their budget. However, most of the time, the people are still earning the same amount of money during the marriage as they are right after a divorce. Therefore, figuring out how to pay for these new expenses can be difficult.

That is why in some situations, one spouse will have to pay alimony to the other spouse. This is a payment separate from child support, which is paid directly to the other spouse to ensure they are able to pay for their expenses until they can earn more money and pay for them on their own. In some cases, this may never occur, and there could be a permanent spousal maintenance award.

This payment is treated separately than child support payments, as well as for tax purposes. The paying spouse can deduct these payments from their income, while the receiving spouse must include it as income when filing taxes. The IRS considers the payment to be alimony if it is in cash, it is ordered in a divorce or separation, the payment is not designated as something other than alimony, the payment ends upon the death of the recipient and the payment is not treated as child support or a property settlement.

Many people in Georgia pay or receive alimony as part of their divorce. It can be very important to ensure that each spouse is able to meet his or her budgets after the divorce, especially when one spouse earns significantly less than the other spouse. These payments also have tax consequences that each spouse needs to understand, so taxes are filed properly. Alimony is just one of the aspects of a divorce, and it is important to understand all legal aspects of it to ensure the divorce is fair and equitable.

Source:, "Topic 452 - Alimony," accessed on May 30, 2017

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