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Monthly alimony payments or lump sum? Which is best for you?

When you filed for divorce in a California court, you logically assumed you would face future financial obligations regarding child support and alimony. You were okay with that and really just want to work out an agreement in the swiftest, most financially feasible manner possible so you could get on with your life. The thing about child support and alimony is, however, that each state has its own guidelines to govern these processes.

If avoiding complications or contentious debates is a high priority to you, you'll want to do some research ahead of time so you know what to expect in court. Concerning alimony, the most common means of allocation is to make monthly payments. If you're worried you might miss a payment or simply don't want to have to think about it every single month, you might want to request a lump sum payment instead.

Alimony facts and thoughts on avoiding monthly payments

The California court will usually take several factors into consideration when determining how much alimony you will pay and for how long. The following list of facts provides further information about the topic and provides you information regarding what resources are available to help you overcome any obstacles that arise:

  • If you were married less than 10 years, it's not uncommon for the court to order spousal support for less than half the time your marriage remained intact.
  • A marriage longer than a decade typically warrants an open-ended alimony order, meaning the court may not set a specific duration for payments.
  • Especially if your former spouse was a stay-at-home parent, his or her marketable skills and the current job market that supports such skills will likely influence the amount of alimony the court orders you to pay.
  • To pay alimony in a lump sum, the court and your former spouse would have to approve your plan and you would probably have to pay the total of your future payments.
  • A benefit of paying lump sum alimony is that you don't have to worry about someone suing you for delinquency.

Once the court weighs factors on both sides, such as ages of each spouse, health conditions, income, accustomed standard of living, etc., you will receive an order with specifications regarding your alimony plan. Although you may be obligated to help financially support your former spouse, you are not without rights.

Many California spouses seek guidance from experienced family law attorneys before heading to court, especially if they are unsure whether requesting monthly payments or lump sum alimony would be best.

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17821 17th Street
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