After you have worked successfully with your divorce lawyers and arrived at a fair alimony amount, now you have to start making the payments.
What is the best way to pay alimony? Well, there are plenty of ways you should go about it. You simply need to ensure that the method you use saves you the most money and, at the same time, is less strenuous on your part. Some of the best ways to pay alimony include:
Pay a lump sum
Most people pay alimony monthly, but you don’t have to follow suit, especially if you have a lot of money with you—you should make the payments as one lump sum. The beauty is that when you are making the payments as a lump sum, you pay a smaller amount.
When you are in court negotiating alimony payments, inform the judge that you are willing to make all the payments as a one-time payment. This will see you save 20% or more than you would have spent had you made the payments monthly.
Making a one-time payment also means you won’t have to keep communicating or seeing your former spouse. You also don’t have to worry about dragging each other in court should you lose your job or your business goes down and you don’t have enough money to continue making the payments.
Make the payments in cash or cheque.
The reason for this is so that you don’t pay tax, and as a result, your spouse receives the full amount as the amount you pay in alimony is tax-deductible. Even when making the alimony payments in full, don’t pay your spouse using a car or any other item that isn’t deductible.
Don’t characterize the payments as child support.
Unlike alimony, child support isn’t tax-deductible, so you stand to pay more when you characterize it as child support. To avoid this complication, ensure that the alimony payments are in no way tied to child support.
Even if the alimony you are paying goes into supporting your children, you shouldn’t indicate this. The reason for this is because the IRS can pick on this and declassify the payments (even the previous ones) as nondeductible, and you find yourself owing back taxes.
In the same way, you should never indicate that you are making the payments to support your children, you also should never indicate that the payments are part of the division of marital property as these payments also aren’t tax-deductible.
Specify when you will stop making the payments
To avoid continuing making the alimony payments when you shouldn’t, be clear about when they should stop. Most people will stop making the alimony payments when the recipient or payor dies. It’s also good to stop paying when the recipient remarries.
Work with your divorce attorney and ensure that this clause is in the agreement and is passed by the court.
Never pay extra upfront.
Regardless of the amount of money you have, never advance alimony payments that are due later. Never excessively high or front load so that you can make lower payments in the future. This is because excessive amounts can be recaptured and taxed later on down the line, and you don’t want this, do you?
If you want to make a hefty payment, make it once and ensure that all the documents are in line.
Don’t file a joint tax return.
The reason for this is because when you and your spouse file a joint income tax return, you can’t deduct the alimony payments. Work with your spousal support lawyers Fairfax VA and file the relevant taxes that will see you saving money.