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The Upsides of Lump Sum Alimony

Typically, alimony payments are made on a regular, set schedule. If your spouse is ordered to pay, you may get one payment per month for the next five years. This is just an example, as each case is handled on an individual basis.

One alternative to these regular payments may be to get a lump sum. Your spouse can just calculate out how much he or she would owe and pay it all to you in one shot. For example, if you were going to get $5,000 per month for the next five years, that would be $300,000. If your spouse has the $300,000, even after the property division process, he or she may ask to pay it all at once.

There are some advantages here. As you are trying to start the next stage in your life, having an additional $300,000 could be very helpful. If you and your spouse sold your home and split the earnings, for instance, you could combine them with the $300,000 to buy your own house without mortgage payments — though you’d have to find employment or keep enough to pay your other bills.

Another potential advantage is that your spouse won’t stop paying. If you agree to the monthly payments, your spouse still has to send you that check or electronic payment consistently. If he or she is unreliable, loses a job, sees a reduction in wages or simply decides to stop paying, it can get complicated for you. There are steps you can take to ensure payments are made, but getting all of the money up front just helps you cut ties, ensures you get what you deserve and avoids any future alimony disputes.

Again, every case is different, but this shows why it’s important to know your legal rights and all of your options when considering the financial side of divorce.

Source: Life Tips, “3 Alimony Tips,” accessed March 03, 2017

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