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Is lump-sum alimony a good idea?

If you and your spouse are divorcing, spousal support (formerly known as alimony) may be one of the issues that needs to be hashed out. Spousal support payments often become a bone of contention in otherwise relatively routine divorce cases.

There are a few reasons why this is so. The paying spouse typically resents having to continue making payments to their ex after the divorce. If the two have minor children together, the issue of spousal support can damage their fragile co-parenting relationship.

For the recipient spouses, having to depend upon the spousal support payments can leave them anxious and frustrated if and when the payments are late. They may resent having to coax and wheedle their exes into making the court-ordered payments they need to meet their needs.

Neither spouse may feel able to truly move on from their former relationship as long as either is receiving or paying alimony. But there may be a better way to resolve the issue of spousal support.

Lump-sum alimony is a possible solution to the problem. Of course, not every divorcing spouse will be in a position to offer to pay a single large payment to cover spousal support, but for those who are, this could be a viable option.

Paying spouses may tap financial reservoirs to come up with the lump-sum payments. Then, they no longer feel tethered to their ex each month when writing out the monthly alimony payment. This might be especially true if the paying spouse moved on to a new relationship and didn't want their new partner to grow resentful of these monthly payments.

Recipient spouses can use the single large payment to relocate and buy another house if they choose. They might also decide to invest it and live off the proceeds of their investment. In those cases, they may receive monthly or quarterly dividends but those are not dependent on any actions of their exes.

Lump-sum alimony payments can have tax consequences for both spouses, making it vital to seek advice and guidance from both your financial adviser as well as your Atlanta family law attorney.

It should be noted that the court will never order such an arrangement without the consent of both spouses. But when both spouses agree, lump-sum alimony can be a good way to wrap up the final business of a marriage that has ended.

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