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Is lump sum alimony a good idea?

Your spouse has to pay you alimony after the divorce. You assumed that meant monthly payments. It can, but your spouse is asking to pay you a lump sum instead and be done with it.

Is that a good idea? Should you take all of the money up front or ask for it to be spread out? While all situations are unique, here are a few reasons why the lump sum may be to your advantage:

  • If you find your own financial success after divorce, you already have the alimony money. For instance, if you land a high-paying job a year into a five-year monthly alimony plan, your spouse may ask to cancel those payments since you don't need support. If you took the lump sum, you don't have to worry about it.
  • The opposite is also true. If your spouse loses their job or runs into other financial difficulties, they could ask to stop making monthly payments or at least reduce the amount. With the lump sum, you have the money in hand and it doesn't matter what your spouse's financial future looks like.
  • If you are at all worried that your spouse is going to violate the court order and refuse to pay on a monthly basis, taking the lump sum eliminates that complication. It allows you and your ex to cleanly cut ties with one another and move on with your lives.

Now, the lump sum is not right for everyone in every situation, but this helps to show you exactly why you need to carefully consider all of the legal options you have.

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