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Can you pay alimony with a lump sum?

Typically, alimony in Florida is used when a spouse is dependent on the other spouse financially. At the time of the divorce, that spouse may not have the means to support himself or herself. This is especially true when the person quits a career to get married and raise a family, and he or she hasn't worked in years. It's not always a simple matter to get back into the workforce, and the courts recognize that that person expected to be taken care of when the wedding occurred, making life decisions based on that knowledge.

As such, alimony is usually paid out on a monthly basis. It is essentially income for the dependent spouse, allowing that spouse to pay the bills and continue to live in a healthy manner after the split. The amount that has to be paid varies widely depending on income levels, expenses, the expected standard of living and more.

However, it is possible to pay a lump sum instead of making the monthly payments. This can be done because alimony is typically paid out for a set amount of time, not on a permanent basis.

For example, if you are ordered to pay alimony every month for five years, and you have to pay $1,000 per month, you could mail out that check every month. You could also just pay the $60,000 during the first month of the divorce and be done with it. For some people, this is preferable because they have the cash on hand and they'd rather just cut ties with their ex.

No matter how you'd like to pay, be sure you know the legal side of setting up the payments, making them on time and asking for modifications if needed.

Source: Florida Bar, "Overview of Florida Alimony," Victoria M. Ho and Jennifer L. Johnson, accessed July 08, 2016

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