Generally speaking, alimony and spousal support are paid out on a monthly basis, just like child support. The idea is that the spouse, like the child, was expecting that financial support. They made choices based on it, like leaving a job to start a family. Taking it away in a divorce can leave them destitute, and alimony helps pay the monthly bills for a time.
That said, some people will offer to pay all of the alimony at once, as a lump sum. If your ex does this — and has the money on hand to afford it — should you take it? Only you can decide, but there are some potential benefits.
Reasons to take the lump sum
You must consider the pros and cons carefully when making your decision. To that end, here are some reasons why a lump sum may be wise:
1. Getting all of the money at once means you do not have to deal with your ex on a monthly basis. It’s more of a clean break in the relationship.
2. You do not have to worry that your ex will make late payments or stop paying entirely after a few months.
3. The lump sum cannot be modified. For instance, if your ex loses their job, they can ask for a modification of the monthly payments. The same may be true if you get a new job. With a lump sum, you know exactly what you’re going to get.
4. Having all of the money at once gives you options. You can invest it. You can save it. You can buy a home after losing the marital home.
5. It is fast and simple. You still get the same amount of money, calculated as the monthly rate over the set period of time. You just get it all at once so that the transaction is done. Divorce is complicated, but alimony doesn’t have to be.
Again, you can make this decision for yourself. There is no right or wrong answer. It depends on your situation and what you want. Just make sure you carefully consider all of your legal options along the way.