One thing couples in Florida who are undergoing a divorce may wish is to have as little contact with one another as possible. However, one aspect of divorce that could tether spouses to one another even after their union is dissolved is alimony, also known as spousal support. It is often assumed that if one party is ordered to pay alimony to the other post-divorce, it could mean monthly alimony payments for a certain length of time.
However, especially in a high net worth divorce where one party makes substantially more than the other or if the marriage lasted a long time, permanent alimony may be awarded. For those who don’t want to remain in monthly contact with their ex indefinitely or until their ex remarries, paying alimony in a single lump-sum may be an attractive option. Florida statutes permit lump-sum alimony.
There are numerous benefits to paying alimony in one lump sum. For the receiving spouse, a lump-sum award may be greater overall than the total amount they would receive via monthly alimony payments. This is because a dollar today is generally more valuable than a dollar tomorrow, especially if that dollar is invested and given inflation. Also, since all alimony is paid up front through a lump-sum payment, the paying spouse doesn’t need to worry about facing collection actions should they fail to make a monthly payment.
Before deciding whether to settle for a lump-sum alimony payment versus monthly payments, it is important to remember that there may be legal and tax consequences for doing so. These issues should be discussed with a legal professional, so you can make informed decisions that reflect how the law in Florida applies to the facts of your case.