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Which Is Better: Monthly Spousal Support or a Lump Sum Payment?

 Posted on February 28, 2023 in Spousal Support

Travis County Divorce LawyerIn many Texas high asset divorces, one spouse is ordered to pay the other spouse spousal support, also referred to as alimony or spousal maintenance. The purpose of spousal support is to enable the receiving spouse to be able to maintain a similar standard of living to the one they had while married. This is especially important in marriages where that spouse chose to leave their career to take care of the couple’s children. If they suddenly did not have that financial support, it could create great financial hardships for them. One question that many receiving spouses ask is whether they should accept their spousal support in monthly payments or whether they should request it all in one lump sum.

Qualifying for Spousal Support in Texas

There are some factors that must be met in order for the court to order spousal support payments. If the couple had a prenuptial agreement that stipulated that alimony would be paid in the event of a divorce, then that stipulation should be ordered.

If the couple did not have a prenuptial (or postnuptial) agreement, then the court will look at the following:

  • The couple has been married for at least 10 years and the spouse does not have the ability to earn an income that will provide them with basic needs.

  • The spouse is unable to earn an income that will provide them with basic needs because of a physical or mental disability.

  • The spouse is unable to earn an income because they are the primary caretaker of a child or an adult child who requires substantial supervision and care because of a disability.

Monthly Payments or Lump Sum

In many cases, the spousal support obligation will be paid on a monthly basis. However, there are cases where the paying spouse will offer to pay the support in one lump sum. Although there are pros and cons to taking a lump sum, some of the things to think about that could make this the better choice for you include:

  • Receiving the support in a lump sum means the amount cannot be modified. If the paying spouse loses their job, becomes seriously ill, gets a lower-paying job, or suffers some other big event, they can request a modification to lower their monthly payments.

  • Receiving the support in a lump sum means the payments cannot stop. Many paying spouses use spousal support payments to antagonize their ex, sending them the payment late or not paying at all, making it necessary to go back to court. Another consideration – although a morbid one – is that if your ex-spouse dies, so too do the spousal support payments.

  • Receiving the support in a lump sum means that you are free to remarry if and when you want. Many spousal support orders stipulate that if the receiving spouse remarries (or even moves in with a partner), the payments stop.

Contact an Austin, TX Divorce Attorney

If you are getting divorced, make sure you have a dedicated Travis County high asset divorce attorney representing you. If you are entitled to spousal support, your lawyer will work with you to ensure you have all the information needed to make the best decisions for your situation. Call Powers Kerr & Rashidi, PLLC at 512-610-6199 to schedule a confidential consultation.




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