Were Alimony Payments Voluntary or Not

Signed Separation Agreement - 4/1/2011
Separation Date in Separation Agreement - 6/10/2010
Separation Agreement includes Alimony payments begining 4/1/2011

I paid ex wife monthly payments each month during 2010 since she had no other income beside social security disability.

In 2010 after contacting an attorney to begin the divorce process I was told by my attorney to continue to give my wife post separation payments while the Separation Agreement was being negoiated which I did. Based on my understanding during this time it really was not an option as to whether I needed to continue making these payments or not.

I have turned my information over to a tax accountant to prepare my 2010 tax return. The tax accountant is not from NC. The tax accountant is asking the following question(s).

Are the payments made to your wife from 6/10/10 to 12/31/10 voluntary payments not under a separation agreement? You may need to ask your attorney this question. Or were the payments made under a decree of alimony pendente lite. From an IRS standpoint, it would have to be paid under a separation or divorce decree and your separation decree states that alimony begins April 1, 2011. If your attorney can state that the alimony payments prior to this date were necessary under a separation or divorce decree or some type of temporary decree, I believe we can take them. If not, it seems it is voluntary and would not be taxable to the recipient nor deductible by the payor.

Can you help me with these questions?


If the payments were not made according to a separation agreement they are not deductible according the IRS. In this case it appears you were making voluntary payments outside of the agreement.