The question of alimony, which Illinois law calls maintenance, is often a contentious one for divorcing couples. The receiving spouse worries about interruptions in payment while the paying spouse may believe paying maintenance is a burden. This is why some families turn to a lump sum payment as a solution.
With a lump sum payment, the paying spouse pays everything the receiving spouse would have received over time in a single payment. FindLaw provides some details on lump sum payments, including why this option has possible benefits for both spouses.
Benefits for the receiving spouse
As a receiving spouse, you do not have to worry about your ex cutting off your payments. There will be no need for court fights to compel payment if you have all of your support already. Also, a tragic event like an auto accident may cause your former spouse to die and end your maintenance. You also have opportunities to invest more money if you have more of your support upfront.
Benefits for the paying spouse
For the paying spouse, a lump sum payment allows the spouse to finish his or her maintenance obligations with a single action. If you are a paying spouse, a lump sum can eliminate the tension of having to pay an ex on a regular basis and allow you to make a cleaner break from your former spouse. You can divert your finances towards your own personal concerns.
Lump sums are not for everyone
Although paying a lump sum benefits some couples, it may not help you in your case. You may not have enough money to invest in a lump sum. Your spouse may also not agree to the option. If so, you might explore other avenues to address you concerns. For instance, if you are a receiving spouse, you could take out a life insurance policy on your ex to help ensure you receive payments even if your ex dies unexpectedly. These options show that child support payments have certain flexibilities to make the process easier.