You should review Chapter 18 of Publication 17 for an overview on alimony. P17 is free at www.irs.gov .
Calling something "alimony" (spousal maintenance) does not make it deductible from your income unless all requirements are met.
Your decree of dissolution of marriage will need to be reviewed to see whether whatever you are paying is "alimony" under the IRS's regulations.
Given that your decree has not been entered, now would be a good time to make sure that the language of the decree meets the requirements of the IRS's regulation.
You should review the specific facts with your attorney to find out your legal options.
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There are very specific requirements that must be met in order to be able to properly deduct payments made as spousal support and maintenance. Many of those requirements go beyond the general instructions of "having the maintenance payments in the written decree or settlement." In fact, taxpayers frequently discover several years after the divorce decree is issued that the decree omitted some language that is essential in ensuring that the payments are tax deductible. I stongly recommend that you have a tax professional evaluate your particular circumstances and the language of the divorce decree to ensure that the payments properly qualify as deductible payments.
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