San Diego, CA – When a couple divorces, the higher earner will sometimes be ordered to pay the lower earning spouse “spousal support” or alimony. California alimony laws are at the heart of many divorce cases, and there is much to consider. One question lower earning spouses may wonder is whether lump sum alimony or regular payments are appropriate.
California divorce lawyer John Griffith of Griffith, Young, and Lass in San Diego insists that there are benefits – and drawbacks – to both types of alimony payments.
Regular Alimony Payments
“Many people see alimony as a monthly payment that is paid to the lower earning spouse to help fund the same lifestyle the couple enjoyed when they were married, and that is very accurate in a lot of cases,” said Griffith. “Regular payments are also very attractive in many ways.
“For instance, regular payments offer a stable, predictable income. The amount can be budgeted, and if the money runs out at the end of the month, the person knows that the next month is right around the corner.”
Lump Sum Alimony
Some of Griffith’s clients are surprised to learn that there is a lump sum alimony option. “It’s not typically discussed when people talk about California alimony,” Griffith said.
“Lump sum alimony payments allow the supported spouse to sever ties with the supporting spouse without having to chase payments, deal with missed payments, or face a reduction of payments if the supporting spouse, the higher earner, loses his or her job.”
Lump sums can also be spent quickly. Griffith advises that if the person is not responsible with money, lump sum alimony payments might not be the best option.
Alimony Payments Should Be Considered Carefully
Like all Family Law, California Alimony laws are extremely complex and should be heavily weighed using the advice of an experienced California divorce attorney. Griffith adds that regular alimony payments work for some and lump sums work for others, but the ultimate decision will depend on the supported spouse’s unique situation and the lifestyle he or she wishes to preserve following the divorce process.
To learn more about regular vs. lump sum California alimony payments, contact our firm now.
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