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Questions about Lump Sum Alimony Laws

Deciding on alimony after an emotional separation or divorce can be quite tedious but necessary. One of the major benefits of lump sum alimony for the payee is to be able to continue a similar standard of life. There may be tax respite or tax levied on lump sum alimony.

Listed below are a few popular questions answered by Experts on lump sum alimony.

Does Mississippi state have alimony?

The state of Mississippi has alimony. Types of alimony recognized in Mississippi include permanent periodic alimony, lump sum alimony, rehabilitative alimony, and reimbursement alimony. Family law, including laws about alimony, can vary from state to state.

If a spouse is required to pay a lump sum to balance division of personal property within a certain period of time, is it considered lump sum alimony or spousal support in the state of Georgia?

This would likely be considered a lump sum alimony payment, which in legal terms is referred to as "in solido". It is usually tax deductible for the payor but taxable for the payee. Once paid and the property is split, there would be no further financial obligation, assuming there are no other clauses in the separation agreement.

If a person wishes to end the alimony obligation of his/her former spouse earlier than the stipulated time period, is it permissible?

In many cases, two people can end an alimony obligation by entering into a new agreement. The new agreement can be drafted by a lawyer or the concerned parties once they have mutually agreed on the changes. Both parties will need to notarize the document. The previous order should cease once this is done. Both parties may also be able to petition the court to terminate the original order given the new agreement.

Can monthly alimony obligation be given as lump sum alimony? What are the tax implications to the concerned parties? Can a person receiving lump sum alimony avoid having to pay higher taxes?

The consent of the spouse receiving the alimony is needed for this type of change. This is because he or she will need to bear the tax burden as it is considered "income" for the recipient. For the person paying the alimony, taxes will not be applicable as it is not his/her income.

Spousal support is taxable as income when it is received. There may be ways for the payee to characterize spousal support as a non-taxable item in order to avoid high taxes. For example, spousal support may be presented as attorney fees (past, present, or future) with respect to family code (section 2030). In such a case, the tax liability would be avoided by the person receiving the support and might shift to the person paying the alimony/spousal support.

Is interest on lump sum alimony being paid taxable?

The alimony itself should be tax deductible. However, the interest is a personal expense that may not have been incurred were the payments made on time. Hence the interest would most likely not be deductible.

Lump sum alimony might be a solution for a couple in the process of separating or could possibly alter an alimony obligation that spans several years. The benefits and burdens may vary, and a qualified legal expert may be able to clear up questions and concerns about your specific situation.
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