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The Benefits of Lump Sum Alimony


When talking about alimony most people discuss (or argue about) what the purpose of alimony will be. For example, whether alimony will be rehabilitative, or whether it will be permanent assistance to the payee (receiving) spouse. However, few people give thought to whether continued monthly alimony payments as opposed to a one time payment are a good idea or not.

Lump Sum Alimony

One time or “lump sum” alimony can be a good idea and can save the receiving spouse a number of headaches down the road. Lump sum alimony is exactly what it sounds like: a one time payment of alimony. Although the sum is usually paid at one time, lump sum can be broken up into a few separate payments.

Lump sum alimony is best used when there is cash available to pay it. Couples that have larger savings accounts, items of value (like property) that can be quickly liquidated, or valuable property that can be used as collateral for the paying spouse to take out a loan are all good candidates for lump sum alimony.

The Benefits of Lump Sum Alimony

Receiving alimony as a lump sum will avoid a receiving spouse from having to worry about whether the paying spouse will be able to pay on an ongoing basis. It also avoids the risk of a paying spouse from going to court after a job loss or illness to argue that his or her alimony obligation should be reduced.

The receiving spouse does not have to worry about the paying spouse stopping payments, being late with payments, or having to chase down non-paying ex-spouses.

If you are the receiving spouse, it also avoids any request for a change in alimony on the basis of your income changing. Spouses receiving alimony may find that if they come into money, get a better paying job, or even if they find a new significant other who cohabitates with them (thus sharing expenses and bills), that the paying spouse requests that alimony payments be lowered or stopped. Paying lump sum at the start of a divorce avoids this problem.

If the lump sum alimony is significant enough and it is properly invested, the interest from the investments can still provide monthly revenue for the receiving spouse. A financial advisor should be consulted before agreeing to lump sum alimony to see what can expect to be earned on the interest from an anticipated lump sum settlement.

The paying spouse may also reap a benefit by paying less total than would be paid monthly, in return for making the lump sum payment relatively quickly.

Parties Can Agree to Lump Sum Alimony

The law requires that judges make special findings before awarding lump sum alimony, including a finding that there is something special that requires an award of lump sum alimony, and that unusual circumstances exist that justify such an award.

However, that does not prevent parties from voluntarily agreeing to lump sum alimony. Thus, it is something to consider before engaging in settlement negotiations or before going to mediation.

Our Tampa alimony attorneys at The Pawlowski//Mastrilli Law Group you’re a quick study! can help you with your questions or concerns about paying or receiving alimony. Contact us today for more information.


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