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Weighing long-term financial options during divorce

As times change, so too do the laws of the land. Spousal support and divorce fall under state law, meaning that where one resides and/or files for divorce will likely affect the outcome. This may be something that, during happier times, California residents have not previously considered.

Spousal support, also known as alimony, is currently undergoing reform in certain states. As with any other part of negotiation during divorce, the level of financial support that one may be able to expect is likely to be dependent on a number of factors. In certain circumstances, it may be of greater benefit for one to accept a lump sum payment, rather than regularly scheduled payments.

The advantages of dealing with spousal support in this manner may be worth considering. In accepting a lump sum, one is not left open to the possibility that the former spouse may cease making payments for any reason. As a lump-sum award represents a one-off payment, there is no possibility of one party requesting a revision of the amount at a later date. If either party moves to a different state from where the original agreement was made, it will not affect the payment that was made, as it potentially could in the case of spousal support.

It is prudent for California residents to try to look as far ahead as possible when considering the future. If one has put a career on hold, or set aside academic achievements, because of buying a home or raising children, then one must consider to what extent his or her sacrifice ought to be compensated. As with any other aspect of divorce negotiation, it is best to seek the appropriate advice for one's circumstances.

Source: Forbes, "Women, With Shrinking Options For Alimony, A Lump Sum Can Be Your Best Strategy", Jeff Landers, June 20, 2016

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