Temporary payments to a former spouse aren’t deductible alimony, the Tax Court says. After a couple separated, their lawyers exchanged about a temporary support agreement. While the terms were still being negotiated, the husband began paying his ex-wife $5,000 a month, the average of the lawyers’ offers. Because the payments weren’t made pursuant to a formal separation or divorce decree, they aren’t deductible. But the Court refused to impose an underpayment penalty on him, saying that his error was a reasonable mistake (Faylor, TC Memo. 2013-143).