My divorce settlement was written in a way that it doesn't specify that the money I'm paying her is alimony and the IRS has declined it as a tax deduction. The divorce was in Michigan.
The general rule is that alimony paid is deductible, while alimony received is considered income. The Final Judgment should have specified that the money being paid was to be considered alimony.
If the understanding of all of the parties was that these payments were to be alimony, then it may be possible to ask the Court to clarify this and issue an Amended Final Judgment with the payments properly classified as alimony.
If it is alimony, then it is taxable income. If the documents aren't clear, then you should make an agreement in writing. If you can't reach an agreement in writing, go to court and get a court order.
If it isn't clear, they fall back to the implications of the terms. If the alimony mysteriously ends when the children turn 18, or cease to live with her, it looks a lot like child support. If they are in no way related to the children, and cease upon her death or something like that, then an argument can be made that they are alimony and you should get a tax attorney.
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