One factor, among others, often considered when the issue of spousal support comes up is the ability of the spouse to pay it. It's no use for a judge to order one spouse to pay a certain sum if they are not financially capable of doing so. Spousal support is based on a number of factors, and the financial situation of both parties is taken into consideration before a sum is settled on. Read on to find out how the ordered payment may be slightly different in some circumstances.
The most common way to fulfill spousal support orders is with regular payments. These may be paid weekly, biweekly, or monthly. In many cases, spousal support is not permanent. Only in cases where the receiving spouse is older, in bad health, or incapacitated in some way are support payments ordered to cover the lifetime of the providing spouse. It's interesting, also, to note that some spouses make provisions in their estate plans to continue paying the ex-spouse after they pass away. Rehabilitative spousal support is far more usual and may last until the needing spouse has obtained education, job training, or adequate income from a job.
Not everyone is able to provide their ex with a lump-sum payment in lieu of traditional regular payments. The advantage to the providing spouse is that the total amount paid can be less with a lump-sum payment. The advantage to the receiving spouse is that they have immediate access to money to use to buy a vehicle or home. Another variation on the lump-sum payment is using property rather than cash to make the payment. For example, a spouse might provide the ex with a vacation home or rental property instead of making a lump-sum payment or making regular payments. This may be of benefit to both spouses depending on what is provided and its value. Here is what else to consider about lump-sum spousal support payments:
- Taking cash or property now could insure against a loss later. If your ex should lose their job or become too ill to work, you already have some financial security.
- You have ready cash rather than having to slowly save up to pay a large bill or make a down payment on a home.
- You never need deal with your ex again (unless you want to).
- You don't have to worry about losing your spousal support if you remarry.
To help you understand more about both ways of being paid spousal support, speak to your an attorney that practices family law.