When two people get divorced, the best advice they could ever receive is “move on.” The marriage is over and the parties need to move on and rebuild their lives. However, the California Family Code does not always give people the option to move on. The law allows for a spouse to ask for spousal support (also called alimony) from the other spouse who makes significantly more. This spousal support could go on for years. It is really difficult to move on in your life when you are paying your ex-spouse money every month or if you are trying to collect from your ex-spouse every month. It is a little reminder of how you two are still dependent on each other.
However, alternatives do exist. One possible alternative is to “buy out” your spouse at the time of marriage. At the end of a divorce, the court will probably set an amount and duration for alimony. For example, the court may order alimony of $500.00 per month for 3 years. This would be the equivalent of $18,000.00. Instead, the paying spouse could offer a one time buy out to cover the $18,000.00 or a reduced amount and terminate spousal support at the time of payment. While this may not be the best financial choice, it is a really good life choice because then the parties can move on without a three year commitment.
Even more important is that the lump sum buy out need not be in cash. It could be some property equivalent to the cash such as a car, stock, retirement account, or the furniture.
A lump sum buy out does not fit for every situation or every couple and parties should consider consulting an attorney before making such an arrangement. There may be some tax consequences involved and cannot be done for child support. If you are considering hiring an attorney, please contact Sagaria Law and schedule a free consultation with our family law attorneys.