When most people think of alimony they think of a monthly payment to the other spouse. Lump sum alimony is different, it is different because it is a one-time award of assets to the other spouse, and it is a very dangerous thing to play around with.
Lump sum alimony is so dangerous because it is the catch all way for a court or jury to punish one party or the other, or to otherwise do equity. In a divorce, what usually happens is that each party is awarded their non-marital or pre-marital assets and the marital assets are divided. But what happens when most of the assets are one party’s non-marital assets, leaving little to divide?
In such a case the court has the power to invade your non-marital estate (even if you inherited it, owned it before marriage, or whatever) and award some or all of it to your spouse, and they can do so JUST BECAUSE. It is a huge weapon in the right case.
One case where this came into great effect for me involved a jury trial in which the opposing party (the husband in this case) brought a few million dollars into the marriage, and he married my client (who at the time was a 6 figure per year consultant) while he was having an affair with another woman. A few years into the marriage my client gave up her career in order to have a baby. The opposing party was still cheating on her at this time (in fact had another baby with this other woman). 5 years passed, and by the time my client figured all this out, her job skills were antiquated, and most of the assets in the case were the husband’s non-marital property. He thought he was looking pretty.
We were not able to claim much in regard to marital property, as most of it was his non-marital property, we could go for monthly traditional alimony, but in addition, we demanded a lump sum award of alimony, and we went all the way to a jury trial to get it.
Long and short, this case settled because the husband’s attorney saw the very large liability he had for the jury awarding a portion of his non-marital assets to my client, millions of dollars in possible liability, because we had a great case for an award of lump sum alimony.
Contact us or call today to learn how Shaw Law can work with you to achieve the best outcome possible for you and your children.
Scott Shaw is founder and principle of Shaw Law Firm PC, founded in 1995 and dedicated solely to divorce, family law and child custody matters that must be addressed and decided in the state of Georgia. Shaw Law Firm serves the greater Metro Atlanta area, particularly the counties of Fulton, Gwinnett, Cobb, Cherokee, Forsyth, Paulding, Henry, Fayette, Coweta, Newton, Walton, Bartow and Douglas. Schedule a consultation today at 770-594-8309.