Can Alimony Be a One-Time Payment?

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Alimony is one thing that usually ends up being hotly contested in a divorce agreement. Once you figure out who should receive alimony and how much, there will be a discussion about how payments should be made. Many people opt for monthly payments that last for as long as the court prescribes, but some people decide to make a one-time payment that can wipe out their obligation all at once. If you’re not sure which option would work best for you, our alimony and spousal support attorneys in Bergen County, NJ may be able to help you decide.

What Determines Alimony Agreements?

The court can look at a wide variety of factors before an alimony agreement is made. One of the chief considerations is how long the marriage lasted. Other elements that are likely to make a difference include:

  • The age and health of both spouses
  • The standard of living established in the marriage
  • The assets and income of each spouse
  • How each spouse contributed to the family and handled parenting responsibilities
  • Whether or not one spouse received temporary alimony during the divorce process

Can I Make a One-Time Payment for Alimony?

Once the paying spouse is decided on, they will usually end up making monthly payments for as long as the alimony agreement is in effect. They can decide to make a one-time payment, but it is important to carefully consider this choice. It can seem tempting to rid yourself of this obligation, but there are some circumstances that can make you regret taking this path.

What Are the Benefits of Making a One-Time Payment?

This can be an attractive option to paying spouses because making a one-time payment means that you do not have to worry about alimony in the future. You pay your former spouse a lump sum and that is the end of it. Now all of your money is yours to keep.

What Are the Drawbacks of Paying Alimony in a Lump Sum?

There are potential drawbacks to making this one-time payment though. Financial situations can change over time. If your finances get worse and your former spouse’s gets better, there is no option to claw back some of the alimony money you paid. If you were making your spousal support payments each month, there is often an option to negotiate a modification so that you can keep up with at least part of your obligation without going broke.

Other circumstances, like your former spouse’s relationship status, can also change and affect alimony agreements. If you are paying monthly alimony when your spouse gets remarried before your agreement ends, you can negotiate a stop to your payments early and save money. If you paid in a lump sum a few years ago, you’re not getting any of that money back.

Talk to an Attorney Today

If you are going through a divorce and need help negotiating an alimony agreement, contact Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark. We can help you figure out the best way to pay alimony and make sure that any deal made is fair to you. Schedule a consultation today.

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