The general point of alimony is simply to provide support for someone who would suddenly be lacking it because of their divorce. It’s not to punish the other spouse. It’s just to ensure that one person isn’t destitute after the divorce.
For instance, maybe you got married and decided to stop working to have children and raise a family. But that was 20 years ago. Your spouse is now asking for a divorce and you don’t think you have any ability to re-enter the workforce, at least not quickly. Alimony might be necessary, and you can get monthly payments to replace your monthly income.
That being said, some people decide to take alimony as a single lump sum at the beginning, rather than monthly payments. Why would this be beneficial?
1. It breaks off all contact
One benefit is that monthly payments mean you still have to be in contact with your ex. Not everyone wants to continue having any sort of relationship at all. If you get all of the alimony money as a lump sum, you don’t have to worry about it.
2. You can invest the money
Additionally, a lump sum may pay you more money than if you take the monthly payments, in the sense that the value wouldn’t go down with inflation and that you could invest the money you got. If your spouse can afford to pay you all of the money upfront, it could be more valuable to you.
3. You don’t have to worry about future changes
One of the biggest worries that people have with alimony is that something will happen that will make their ex-spouse stop paying. Maybe their former spouse will simply lose their job. Maybe they’ll have to declare bankruptcy. Anything that interrupts those payments can impact a person’s financial future. But, with a lump sum payment, you don’t have to worry that anything like this will happen.
A lump sum is not always possible. It may be too expensive, or your ex may not agree to it. But you can still see how important it is to explore all of your options when considering alimony payments.