Spousal support can be critical in helping financially disadvantaged parties adjust to life after divorce. Depending on the type of support that a person receives, it can provide long-term stability or short-term relief. In either case, it can be essential for recipients.
During a divorce, alimony, also referred to as spousal support, is the exchange of money between former spouses when, at the end of a fairly long marriage, there is a substantial difference in the parties' actual income or income earning ability. The federal tax code permits the person paying a spousal support to deduct the payment from their federal tax obligation and further requires the recipient to report alimony as income, no different than a paycheck from a job. Section 71 of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) has certain technical requirements for purposes of deducting and declaring alimony upon tax returns. Among these is the requirement that there be a written document between the parties memorializing the alimony obligation.