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Cairns Law Clearwater Divorce Lawyer
  • 5 stars based on 36 reviews
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  • Mon - Fri 8:30 am- 5:00 pm Evening and Weekend Appts Available
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  • 801 West Bay Drive, Suite 713, Largo, FL 33770

What Is Lump-Sum Alimony?


When couples get divorced, they have to deal with a number of different issues before a court will actually legally end their marriage, one of which is alimony. Alimony, or spousal maintenance, is a type of financial award, in which one former spouse makes payments to a lesser earning spouse upon divorce. The amount, form, and duration of these payments, however, will depend on the couple’s specific circumstances. For instance, some couples choose traditional monthly payments, while others opt instead for a lump-sum arrangement.

Lump-Sum Alimony

While most alimony payments are made monthly, it is also possible to use a lump-sum arrangement, in which one former spouse makes a single large payment to the other, rather than smaller payments over a period of time. Courts will only award lump-sum alimony when such a payment is financially realistic and the recipient doesn’t have a history of wasting assets.

What are the Advantages of Lump-Sum Alimony?

There are a lot of advantages to lump-sum alimony arrangements. For instance, paying monthly alimony can be a painful reminder for those whose divorces were particularly contentious, so many couples in these circumstances prefer to make a one-time payment and sever any need for further communication. This is also a good option for those in situations where one spouse has a history of wasting assets or has proven him or herself to be unreliable. By receiving a payment up-front, a recipient spouse can avoid issues with non-payment down the road.

Lump-sum alimony can be helpful in cases where the age or health of the paying spouse makes the prospect of ongoing payments doubtful. In these circumstances, the recipient can rest assured that he or she will be financially secure regardless of the payor’s decline in health, or job loss. Finally, payors often benefit from lump-sum alimony arrangements, as a single award ensures that they won’t end up subject to higher payments down the road if they receive a raise or other increase in income.

What are the Disadvantages of Paying Lump-Sum Alimony?

A lump-sum alimony arrangement isn’t right for everyone. One of the biggest disadvantages, for example, is that these arrangements can be quite expensive, as it basically requires years of alimony payments up-front. This isn’t always financially plausible, in which case, monthly payments might be a couple’s best option. There are also risks with lump-sum alimony awards for recipients who struggle with investing or budgeting and so are more likely to spend their payment and end up with no safety net. In these cases, periodic payments may be in a recipient’s best interest.

Experienced Largo Alimony Lawyers

At Cairns Law, we know that the subject of alimony can be awkward and difficult to navigate. Our dedicated Largo alimony attorneys can help you assess your options in more detail and come up with a plan that best suits your goals and circumstances. Reach out to us at 727-683-1472 today to get started. We are happy to meet with you not only on weekdays, but are also available for evening and weekend appointments.


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