What Records Should I Keep Regarding Alimony?

December 1, 2020


At the conclusion of a divorce proceeding, the court orders the dissolution of marriage. The order will often contain specific requirements regarding payments of alimony, child custody, and more. When alimony is ordered by a court, it becomes legally enforceable. It is important for both the payor and the recipient to keep adequate records of alimony payments.

Should I Keep a List of All Payments?

Payors should keep a list of all payments made in a single document matching each payment to the period of time it covers. The list should also indicate the check number and the address to which the payment was sent. Additional documentation will depend on the form of payment, which is usually in the form of the following:

  • Checks or Money Orders: Maintain a copy of each check or money order sent as alimony payment. Write in the memo portion which month the payment covers. For checks, note the account number from which the check was drawn. For money orders, note the place that issued the money order.
  • Electronic Payments: Maintain a copy of each statement showing the alimony payment, account, the date of payment, and the name of the ex-spouse as the recipient.
  • Cash: Get a signed receipt that shows the amount of payment, the date of payment, and which month the alimony covers. Keep a copy of a receipt, which should show the amount of payment, date of payment, and month in which the payment applies.

A recipient of an alimony payment should keep a similar record. There can be substantial confusion as to which payments apply to which months. Sometimes, dates listed on checks do not line up with when they are received. Accordingly, the recipient should keep a list of payments that records the following:

  • Date the payment was received.
  • Amount of payment and month in which it applies.
  • Form of payment.
  • Copies for each form of payment.

If the payor is in arrears due to either under payment, skipped payments, or late payments, maintaining these records will make it easier to obtain relief in court.

Why is it Beneficial to Keep Documentation?

Accurate documentation of alimony provides multiple benefits. If a dispute arises as to whether payments were made in the correct amount or time, courts can more readily resolve the issue if there are accurate records.

Trying to compile alimony data after the fact can be stressful and may cause problems. In contrast, a complete and accurate record of alimony payments allows the recordkeeper to know that all obligations have been met. If one has questions about keeping records of alimony payments, they should speak to a knowledgeable lawyer. A lawyer will ensure that their client receives the right amount of alimony.

Moorestown Divorce Lawyers at Stockton Family Law Advise Clients in Alimony-Related Matters

Our experienced Moorestown divorce lawyers at Stockton Family Law offer full-service divorce representation, including resolving alimony payments issues. Our legal team can help you with your alimony. Call us at 856-412-5052 or complete our online form for an initial consultation. Located in Moorestown, New Jersey, we serve clients throughout South Jersey, including Mount Laurel, Burlington County, and Camden County.