If you’re divorcing a spouse who has considerable assets, they may propose paying you spousal support in one lump-sum payment as opposed to making monthly payments over a period of years. People often prefer (if they have the means) to do that just to put the divorce — and their spouse — behind them and move on. They’re often able to negotiate a lower amount of spousal support overall by offering a lump-sum payment to their estranged spouse.
If you’re the one who will be receiving spousal support and you are given the option of a lump-sum payment, it may be financially beneficial to you, even if it’s less than you’d receive in a monthly payment plan. Let’s look at some of the key advantages.
If your ex loses their job or otherwise falls on hard times financially, you already have your money. If you’re dependent on your ex making monthly payments, you could suffer financially right along with them. You also don’t have to worry about going after your ex for the money you’re owed if they decide for whatever reason to stop paying you on time (or at all).
Your own financial situation won’t impact your spousal support. If you’re receiving monthly payments and you find a high-paying job, your ex can go back to court to try to get their payments reduced or ended completely. With a lump-sum payment, you have the money already and you don’t have to give any of it back.
You can remarry without losing your alimony. Many people postpone or eschew remarriage entirely because they don’t want to lose their alimony. That’s not something you need to worry about if you received a lump-sum payment.
Of course, if the lump-sum payment you negotiate is significant, you need to be prepared to invest it wisely. If you aren’t good at managing money (and have no interest in developing that skill), a lump-sum payment can be a landmine. However, if invested wisely or perhaps used for something like purchasing your share of the family home from your spouse, a lump-sum payment can be a good financial choice. If the option of a lump-sum payment is on the table, it’s best to discuss the pros and cons with financial and tax professionals as well as your family law attorney.