There are advantages to regular alimony payments, such as the fact that they keep you from spending the money too quickly and they provide you with a stable, predictable income for as long as you get them. If you're being paid $3,000 per month, for instance, you can set up your budget to reflect that income level and create a lifestyle that fits your means.
However, there are some big advantages to taking a lump sum payment up front. It's definitely something you at least want to consider when trying to get alimony in California. Instead of getting $3,000 per month for ten years, for example, you may be able to ask for $360,000 up front.
One of the biggest advantages is that you are then protected from changes to your ex's income. If your ex loses his or her job, a modification may be made to the $3,000-per-month payment structure that means you don't get nearly as much, but getting all of the money at the beginning means you don't have to worry if your ex has an unstable job.
Another advantage is that you don't have to worry about your ex missing payments. This could happen as an honest mistake or as an intentional move to keep you from the money you deserve. It can be a hassle if you feel like you have to fight for your payments every month. It may be best just to get things settled up front so that the two of you can go your separate ways -- especially if you're not on good terms.
Take the time to carefully consider all alimony options when going through a divorce.
Source: Forbes, "Upfront Lump Sum Payment or Alimony? Why Some NFL Ex-Wives Are Now Smiling," Jeff Landers, accessed Aug. 09, 2016