Receiving Your Spousal Support in a Lump Sum

 Posted on August 08, 2017 in Alimony / Maintenance

Receiving Your Spousal Support in a Lump SumWhen negotiating the financial aspects of a divorce settlement, each party must consider how to support him or herself in the present and future. The division of marital properties may have the greatest current value to a spouse, but spousal support payments can help create prolonged financial security. However, parties can waive regular spousal support payments in exchange for a lump sum payment, given as either one payment or in installments. The recipient spouse reaps an immediate monetary reward, but the paying spouse often benefits more. A spouse may ultimately receive more money through continued spousal support payments than from the lump sum payment. Though lump sum spousal support agreements seem short-sighted, the recipient spouse may have a valid reason to seek immediate compensation.


Some spouses agree to receiving a lump sum spousal support payment because they are enticed by the big payout. Others are motivated by financial or emotional factors that make sense in their situations:

  • Spousal support payments end if the recipient spouse remarries. If a spouse is confident about his or her marriage prospects, spousal support will have less long-term value.
  • Lump sum payments provide certainty of what a spouse will receive. Spousal support may be affected by the payer’s health and employment.
  • Some people want to cut all ties to their former spouses. If there are no children from the marriage, spousal support may be the only thing that can still connect them.
  • A spouse may fear becoming psychologically dependent upon the spousal support payments. Forgoing the payments forces him or her to be more independent and move on from the marriage.


In most situations, a spouse will benefit more from continued spousal support than a lump sum payment. Determining proper compensation in a lump sum payment may be difficult. The recipient cannot predict what his or her future expenses and cost of living will be. The recipient also needs a plan for how to invest the money for long-term financial stability. Regular payments encourage the recipient to budget the money. If the recipient squanders the lump sum payment, he or she does not have any spousal support payments to fall back on.

Discussing Your Options

You should consult your divorce attorney before deciding on whether to receive your spousal support payments in a lump sum. Traditional spousal support payments make more financial sense in many situations. If you do opt for a lump sum payment, you must measure your spouse’s true worth and your future monetary needs. A Kane County divorce attorney at Goostree Law Group can guide you in making smart financial decisions in your divorce. To schedule a free consultation, call 630-584-4800.



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