Since my wife and I separated I have been paying her household expenses, such as rent and bills, as a form of child support and alimony.
I met with a divorce attorney and he told me that I do not have to be paying for any of that since I haven't been ordered to by the court. I pay that money since my kids are with her half the time and I want them to live in a comfortable place.
Should I continue paying for her household expenses while the divorce is pending, and can I deduct any of these payments for tax purposes?
I am unable to give you legal advice on divorce. I can give general divorce help for men, though, my knowledge is based on New York divorce laws where I am licensed to practice.
Generally speaking, child support is not tax deductible, but spousal support (more commonly known as alimony) is tax deductible to the paying party and the party receiving the alimony has to pay taxes.
You are correct that you do not have to pay her anything unless court ordered, but also you are setting up an established pattern by paying these expenses for her.
It is much easier for her to go to a judge and ask for an order requiring you to pay what you have already been paying – she is simply asking the judge to maintain the status quo.
With that said, I understand what you are saying that you want her to live in a safe good home, because your kids are there half the time. If you are willing to pay some of these expenses for her, then I think the better route might be trying to reach a settlement with her so you can conclude your divorce.
Remember, I am unable to provide you with anything more than divorce tips for men, so please consult with divorce lawyers for men in your jurisdiction.