Generally, the wording in the divorce or separation decree identifies the payments as Alimony or something other than Alimony, such as child support. Alimony is income to the recipient and an adjustment to income for the payer. Generally, for payments to be considered alimony, seven characteristics should be present. The payments are in cash or check. The payment must be paid under a divorce decree or separation instrument. The divorce decree or separation agreement cannot designate the payment as a payment which is not deductible by the payer or includable in gross income by the recipient. The recipient and the payer must not be members of the same household. The payments must not be treated as child support. The taxpayer and spouse may not file a joint return with each other. There must not be a liability to make any payment for any period after the death of the spouse.