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What is lump-sum alimony?

Alimony is a common and necessary component of many Maryland divorces. Although most spouses who have to pay alimony try to avoid an alimony award at all costs, there is a good reason why alimony exists. Mainly, it prevents less-moneyed spouses from being trapped in a toxic — or even abusive — marital relationship for financial reasons.

Depending on the facts and circumstances surrounding (1) your capacity to earn a living, (2) the standard of living you enjoyed during your marriage, (3) the level of your independent wealth and wealth-generating capacity — in addition to other factors — you might be able to receive an award of alimony from your soon-to-be ex-spouse. If you can qualify to receive alimony, you may have to decide whether you want to receive a lump-sum alimony award or monthly support payments from your spouse.

In the state of Maryland, lump-sum alimony has become a popular alternative way for a spouse to meet his or her alimony obligations. Since most alimony decrees offer the less-moneyed spouse temporary alimony payments that will end after a set period, it is possible to determine exactly what the total alimony amount owed will be, making the lump-sum payment a viable option. This involves paying one large payment — all at once — which satisfies the entirety or a large part of the total alimony obligation. Even in cases of permanent alimony, spouses can arrive at a suitable amount to settle the obligation all at once.

Spouses considering a lump-sum alimony payment will want to talk with a divorce attorney about whether the lump-sum offer is a good deal for them. Tax consequences could apply to a large payment like this, and most lump-sum payments will be offered at a discount compared to the total amount of payments to be received over time. Spouses must consider these and other factors when evaluating the fairness of a lump-sum offer of this nature.

Source:, “The FindLaw guide to spousal support,” accessed May 26, 2017

Related Posts: Know the impacts of choosing a lump-sum alimony payment, Seeking enforcement action for court-ordered support in Maryland, Spousal support isn’t automatic in divorce, Consider different arrangements for alimony payments, Lump sum payments: Monthly alimony payments might be avoidable,
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