Following their divorce in 1909, Howard Gould (defendant) was required to pay Katherine Gould (plaintiff) $3,000 per month in alimony payments. Mrs. Gould brought an action against Mr. Gould, claiming that the payments were not income to her and should be taxed as part of Mr. Gould’s income. Mr. Gould argued that he was entitled to a tax deduction for the payments. The trial court held in favor of Mrs. Gould. The appellate division affirmed, finding that the alimony payments were not income to Mrs. Gould. The United States Supreme Court granted a writ of error.