Spousal support (or alimony) is still awarded for spouses that can show a need, despite its declining popularity. If you anticipate a loss of financial status due to an upcoming divorce, you may be entitled to spousal support. This form of support can be ordered as early as your separation period through the use of a temporary order and then made permanent with the final decree. You might have some options about the way your spousal support is paid, so read on to find out more.
Lump-Sum or Buy-outs and the Benefits
In most cases, spousal support is ordered to be paid on a monthly or bi-weekly basis. Usually, it's discontinued when the recipient remarries or when a certain milestone is achieved. For example, rehabilitative spousal support can end when the recipient completes college or other job training. Some spouses may be able to have their spousal support paid to them all at once in a one lump sum. This is also known as a buy-out. When the finances are right, this form of receiving support has many benefits for the recipient, including:
- You have enough money to start a new life without your spouse—this money can be used for buying a home a car or to fund a retirement account.
- You don't need to maintain any sort of relationship with your ex—you need never interact with them at all if you wish.
- If you ever remarry, you don't need to worry about losing financial support as a result—remarrying has no effect on the lump-sum you've already received.
- You have insurance against the future—if your ex should lose their job, become ill, die, lose their investments or experience any other negative events, it won't affect you.
There are many benefits to consider with a lump sum payment.
What to Watch Out For With Lump Sum Spousal Support
Not every divorce situation calls for lump sum spousal support. Take a look at some drawbacks:
- Your spouse must have the financial ability to pay the sum you are requesting.
- You may need to be willing to accept property instead of cash upfront—be sure to carefully evaluate the value of the property both now and in the future before you accept a deal.
- In many cases, the providing spouse is incentivized to offer lump-sum spousal support in exchange for a lower overall payment than a gradual payout would incur.
To find out more about this form of spousal support, speak to your divorce lawyer.