Here’s the short answer:
Before and during the divorce process any support received is generally not considered alimony. Therefore it is not claimed as income by the recipient or as a deduction by the payor. As with all tax laws, there are exceptions but these are very specific and they are not so common.
In many states payments to you can be termed unallocated support or “Pendente Lite” support (Latin for during the pendency of the divorce).
Whatever the name, it is not a tax consideration until after there is a written agreement or Court order, typically at the time the final divorce is entered with the Court. Federal tax rules are very specific and can be found at: http://www.irs.gov/taxtopics/tc452.html
Federal income tax rules apply in all states, so this applies to everyone.
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Ellen Wanamaker is a Divorce Financial Specialist and Communications Strategist. She began helping women with uncoupling, after her own egregious divorce from which she created a step by step system. Post-divorce, she went on to become a Matrimonial Paralegal, Mediator and Divorce Financial Specialist. Ellen's divorce strengths stem from her financial background, being a federally licensed tax practitioner for more than 25 years,, and investment and insurance advisor. She has been helping women in many stages of divorce set up their finances on autopilot. Ellen is also the author of the popular book "Divorce Starter Tools Women Need."