The documentation you’ll need in case of an alimony dispute

Alimony is a standard in many divorce cases. If there is significant financial discrepancy between California spouses, the higher-earning spouse may make payments to the lesser-earning spouse. The intent of alimony payments is to offset the economic inequity often brought about by a divorce, but there may be disputes between spouses regarding who should pay and how much these payments should be.
Whether you will be paying alimony or you believe you have a rightful claim to this type of support, you may have to prove your case in court. There is certain documentation that can help validate your claim and make it easier for you to secure a reasonable post-divorce financial future. You have the right to pursue terms that allow you to have stability and security long-term.

What do you need if you are paying?

Disputes over alimony can be costly and complicated to resolve. If you will have to pay alimony, you may need the following documentation in case of an issue in the future:

  • Documentation of when each payment was made and the amount of each payment
  • Copies of any checks sent to make alimony payments
  • Receipts for any alimony payments you made in cash

These documents will be useful if you are ever in a dispute with your former spouse regarding payments, but they can also help protect your interests in the event of a tax audit.

What do you need if you will receive payments?

If you will receive alimony payments, the following documentation could be useful in the event of a dispute or issue with the financial support you receive from your former spouse:

  • Documentation of when you received payments and the amount
  • Documentation of any missed payments, late payments or payments that were less than the required amount
  • Check numbers and account numbers for received payments
  • Copy of receipts for cash payments or money orders

The more documentation you have, the easier it will be to identify the right solution in case your former spouse stops paying, does not pay the full amount or claims payment when none was received.

Resolving conflict

If there is conflict regarding your spousal support payments, you have the right to pursue what you believe to be the most beneficial outcome. It may be helpful for you to understand how the court determines alimony and the specific enforcement options that may be available to you.