Q:

Can I deduct alimony payments from taxes?

A:

It is possible. Federal tax laws can be very complicated. Always consult an accountant or tax lawyer for proper advice for your specific situation. Most of the time, for a taxpayer paying alimony to be allowed to deduct those payments from taxes, certain criteria must be met. Those criteria include:

  1. The recipient must be a spouse or former spouse;
  2. There must be a written divorce or separation instrument;
  3. Alimony must be made with cash payments (such as checks and money orders);
  4. Alimony does not continue after the recipient dies;
  5. The parties must live apart, residing in different households;
  6. The parties must file separate tax returns (they cannot file a joint return and claim the alimony deduction); and,
  7. The court ordered payment of alimony cannot state that payments are not deductible.

Q:

That means I can write off alimony from my taxes?

A:

This is a possibility. Check with your accountant or tax professional. See the requirements above.

Q:

What is the future of alimony in Tennessee?

A:

This is a great question. No one can predict the future. As the frequency of the traditional marriage reduces, so will alimony as a goal in society. In Tennessee, no one expects a major change in the immediate future. While the concept of alimony may seem outdated to many, the reality is that the need for alimony still exists. This is so a supported spouse leaving the marriage will have some sort of help to make that transition.