"So do I need to pay taxes on $6000 or on $16,000? . . . It is not identified as a type of settlement in the decree, . . .
"--->It depends on the situation; if you designate the payments, $10,000, as “not alimony”( as you can see, cash settlements are generally going to be alimony) even if it is in cash, it will not be treated as alimony (alimony must be in cash but other requirements must be met in order to call it alimony; in other words, just because you receive a cash payment from your spouse does not mean it is alimony.) and thus will not be subject to tax.
$6,000 is your taxable income; $6,000(alimony).
I guess you need to discuss the entire settlement offer with your attorney, to make sure it is fair but also to minimize the tax impact.
For further info, please visit the IRS website:Publication 504 (2009), Divorced or Separated Individuals