In Texas and many other states, spousal support is not a given when a couple divorces. In fact, in many courts, the assumption is that no alimony will be awarded. However, financial advisors recognize that often, particularly for women over 50, alimony is the difference between providing for one’s basic needs and sinking into poverty.
Despite the prevailing attitude of equality and independence for women, many couples still decide the mother will remain home with the children, sacrificing her best years of earning potential for the good of the family. In some cases, one partner is required to relocate frequently due to career opportunities — typically the husband – preventing the other partner from establishing a career. Denying alimony to a spouse who has made these sacrifices may leave that partner struggling for years after a divorce.
Alimony is typically awarded as a monthly payment. However, some financial advisors suggest that spouses who have sufficient assets should pay a lump sum up front. There are several benefits to this as long as the receiving spouse does not have free spending habits or pending lawsuits.
First, the recipient will not have to fear that the ex won’t pay on time or that the former spouse’s fortune will change so that alimony is no longer affordable. The paying spouse may also try to have the alimony modified in the future, which a lump sum would preempt. Having a lump sum also allows the receiving spouse to pursue future relationships without worrying about losing monthly income.
Those in Texas who feel they will be financially burdened without spousal support may have a difficult case to make in court. Having the help of an experienced attorney may improve the chances of winning an alimony award. An attorney may also be able to negotiate a lump sum settlement if that would be the best option for the circumstances.
Source: forbes.com, “Women, With Shrinking Options For Alimony, A Lump Sum Can Be Your Best Strategy“, Jeff Landers, Accessed on March 4, 2017