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Look at the pros and cons before choosing lump sum alimony

Child custody, child support and maintenance (commonly known as alimony) are all highly critical elements of many Illinois divorces. It is beneficial for divorcing parties to consider these and other elements very carefully during the process. While your attorney can help you make important decisions about these and other matters, it is crucial that you understand what these decisions will mean in the short and the long term.

Spousal maintenance, which you probably know as alimony, is one of the most misunderstood aspects of ending a marriage. In past decades, it was pretty easy to understand. A couple entered into divorce proceedings under the guidance of their lawyers and the judge usually ordered one spouse to pay the other one a set amount each month.

Today, there is more than one way to accept your court-ordered alimony. Receiving a single lump sum payment upfront and all at once is now an option for many newly divorced spouses. We know how attractive this option sounds. In many cases, it is just what the spouse needs to secure their future. However, those still in the process of making important decisions concerning child support and maintenance need to look at the issue carefully with their attorney.

Following are a few pros and a few cons that are typically associated with lump sum spousal maintenance:

  • Pro: You will have fast access to enough money with which to secure your future (for example, earning a college degree).
  • Con: If your divorce order is not worded correctly, you could face harsh tax consequences.
  • Pro: A lump sum payment gives you the opportunity to make a cleaner break with your spouse.
  • Con: If you are not careful with your lump sum payment, it could run out much sooner than you expect.

Learning about all the elements that make up an Illinois divorce is a great way to protect your rights and your interests. Continue browsing our family law pages to learn more.

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