During many marriages, one partner makes certain sacrifices for the better good of the relationship. For instance, one spouse may stay home with the children rather than work, so that no extra expenses must be spent on childcare. Or in another situation, one spouse may work full time to allow another spouse to go back to school without working at the same time. But while these acts of kindness can be extremely beneficial to your relationship, they can leave the partner who sacrificed at a disadvantage should the marriage not work out.
Alimony and the Standard of Living
In order to help keep the spouse with less income or a lower earning capacity at the standard of living to which they were accustomed, the court may order that the other spouse pay them alimony, also known as spousal support. This helps to provide them with the necessary financial stability to get back into the job market and move forward with their life.
Alimony is generally paid out on a monthly basis, over a period of time. In Virginia, the length of time and the amount of the support depend upon a variety of factors. Spouses can certainly decide upon their own alimony amount, though they generally require the assistance of their attorneys.
But just because this is how alimony is usually distributed, it doesn’t mean that spouses can’t pay a lump sum of all of the alimony that they owe. While most spouses aren’t in the financial position to be able to do so, some may be able to. So if your spouse can, would it be a good idea to accept a lump-sum payment or even a combination of a lump sum and regular monthly payments?
Advantages of a Lump-sum Payment
One of the biggest advantages of having a lump-sum payment is that you don’t have to worry about your payment amount being decreased if you get a job, have the money, or remarry. Nor must you worry about losing some of your alimony if your spouse endures an adverse financial event such as the loss of their job. Once it’s yours, it’s yours. You can also use these funds to buy out your spouse’s share of certain shared property.
Disadvantages of a Lump-sum Payment
One of the greatest disadvantages to receiving a lump-sum alimony payment is that you may not know how to invest in such a large amount of money wisely. For many people, having access to such a large amount of money can prove counterproductive – especially if you are someone who struggles with debt or impulsive buying habits.
If you have the opportunity to receive a lump-sum alimony payment, it’s in your best interest to first speak to your family law attorney and trusted financial advisors regarding the pros and cons of taking it.
Surovell Isaacs & Levy PLC Can Help Those in VA Who Have Access to a Lump-Sum Alimony Payment
If you or a loved one is getting divorced and has the option of receiving a lump sum for your alimony payment, It’s in your best interest to speak with a qualified family law attorney at Surovell Isaacs & Levy PLC. We will work hard to help you determine which options are best for you and your family. To learn more or to schedule a consultation, contact us today!