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Is a lump sum alimony payment best for you?

Most spousal support, or alimony, is paid to the recipient monthly or via other periodic payments. However, if you are awarded alimony in your divorce settlement, you have the option to take it in one lump sum payment.

The majority of people don't have the available financial resources to make such a large payment. However, if your spouse does, is that your best option?

Many experts advise taking the "one-and-done" payment. It's not for everyone, though. If you don't have sound financial advice and if you are one of those people who doesn't have the self-control to refrain from spending the money recklessly, this type of payment probably isn't your best choice. Further, if you have any outstanding lawsuits pending against you, you risk having the funds taken in the judgment.

However, provided that you do have an experienced financial professional to help you handle and invest the funds and understand that this money will need to last you until you're on your feet again financially after your divorce, an up-front lump sum payment has many advantages. For example:

-- You don't have to worry that your ex will fail to make full payments in a timely manner.

-- Your spouse can't go back to court later and renegotiate the payment amount.

-- If one or both of you move to another state, your alimony won't be subjected to different laws.

-- You'll have less (if any) contact with and dependence on your ex.

If you start a new relationship, your spouse can't work to stop payments by claiming that you are now cohabitating with someone else.

Of course, it's essential that you and your attorney negotiate a support amount that will be sufficient to help take care of your needs, perhaps for some years. Further, you'll need to protect that money via a prenuptial agreement should you remarry so that you don't lose part of it in a subsequent divorce.

Your Florida family law attorney can help you make the decision that is best for you. Your attorney can also likely recommend trusted financial and tax advisors to provide further guidance.

Source: Think Financially, Not Emotionally, "The Five Top Reasons To Choose A Lump Sum Over Periodic Alimony," Jeffrey A. Landers, accessed Dec. 28, 2016

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