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When is a Lump-Sum Alimony Payment in My Best Interests?


Under Florida law, judges are permitted to require one spouse to pay alimony to the other once a couple’s divorce is finalized. Although in some cases, judges are willing to award alimony on a permanent basis, it is much more common for one spouse to receive a temporary award. These types of alimony awards are intended to give the receiving spouse sufficient time to complete his or her education or professional training and seek employment. In the majority of cases, these awards take the form of regular monthly support payments. It is, however, possible for the recipient spouse to agree to receive a lump-sum alimony payment in lieu of periodic payments.

Lump-sum alimony payment arrangements aren’t right for all couples, so if you and your spouse have decided to file for divorce and you have questions about spousal maintenance, it is critical to contact an experienced alimony attorney who can advise you.

What are Lump-Sum Alimony Settlements?

Unlike most alimony payments, which take the form of regular payments in the same amount, lump-sum settlements involve one spouse making a single large payment to the other, at which point, the payor’s obligation will be fulfilled. Courts will only approve or award lump-sum alimony when the payor spouse is able to pay the lump-sum award without financial difficulty.

Is a Lump-Sum Alimony Award Right for Me?

Whether a lump-sum alimony award is appropriate in any given case depends on the parties’ specific circumstances. However, couples are generally in a better position to make a lump-sum alimony award work when:

  • There are enough assets available to make such a payment realistic;
  • The recipient has responsible spending habits and no pending lawsuits; and
  • Both parties have access to sound financial advice on how to make, protect, and invest lump-sum alimony payments.

Couples who do not fulfill these elements could find themselves in financial straits upon making the payment, or without a financial safety net at a later date.

The Pros and Cons of Lump-Sum Alimony

Spouses who receive lump-sum alimony awards can be sure that their former spouse’s death, health decline, or job loss will not affect their ability to collect. Similarly, recipient spouses don’t need to worry that a former spouse will take them back to court to change their support agreement, which is a risk with periodic payment awards. Instead, lump-sum alimony recipients can rest assured that they will receive the full amount that they are owed and that no later legal procedure can change that once the payment has been made. There are risks, however, for those who have difficulty with budgeting and investing, as these individuals could quickly run through their lump-sum payment and be left on the other side with no safety net. For this reason, divorcing couples are usually strongly encouraged to retain an attorney who can advise them on spousal maintenance before agreeing to accept a lump-sum payment.

Schedule a Free Case Review Today

If you think that a lump-sum alimony award might be right for your family, please contact skilled and knowledgeable Fort Lauderdale alimony lawyer Sandra Bonfiglio, P.A. today. We can be reached at 954-945-7591, or via online message.




Understanding the Impact of a Florida Divorce

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