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Ex-wife wants to convert permanent alimony payments into a lump sum payment. Is this allowed in NJ and what are the risks?

Hightstown, NJ |

I have been paying spousal support for 10 yrs ($10K/yr) and based on our divorse decree I shall cont. until I pass or she passes. Recently she contacted me and wanted to no if I would consider converting to a lump sum amount. We are approx. 57 yrs old and she wants payment until the age of 62. The amount would be approx. $50K. She stated that if she either gets remarried, cohabitates or passes away there would be a provision for me to be refunded monies due. My concerns are can she come back at a later date for add $, can she garauntee a refund, is $50K the correct amount of money now based on devaluation in future, tax implications to me, and will I be able to terminate the life ins policy? Are there other questions I should consider?

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Attorney answers 5


There are many things you need to think about. Most of the issues that will arise from this change of your agreement will depend on how your case was resolved. Some cases end by a trial decision but most end with a settlement agreement between the parties.

If you to enter a settlement agreement, you'll probably be able to modify the agreement by a writing signed by both of you. However, there are many issues that may arise from this change. First, your alimony agreement had tax consequences that will be surrendered. Additionally, the agreement may have provisions that allow for or prohibit a future modification of alimony Additionally, New Jjersey state law allows for modification of alimony for change of circumstances in some cases. You need to be concerned that she may come back for future change of alimony even though you are currently going to make an agreement for lump-sum payment of your current alimony.

My recommendation is that you speak to an attorney regarding the best way to modify this agreement protect your rights. You want to ensure that there are no adverse tax consequences to the change and that the waivers of modification which may exist in your agreement as well as the future potential for alimony modification are eliminated by a mutual and irrevocable waiver.


Yes, you can most likely do this with a Consent Order. You have very good questions and they are all important to consider before making a decision. You should meet with a family law attorney. Bring a copy of your divorce decree. The attorney can answer all of your questions, explain things you may not have considered yet and then draft a Consent Order that will best protect you.


You may be able to accomplish your goals with the assistance of a good family attorney.

This content is informational only and does not establish an attorney-client relationship.


There are many issues to consider with regard to this modification including but not limited to tax consequences and how you would be refunded in the future. Once you pay the money up front, it will be harder to get it back in the future. Based upon your circumstances, there may be other options that you should explore. It would be necessary to review the agreement and/or divorce decree entered in your case to explore the enforceability of such options. You should consult with an attorney befoe you agree to anything. You can review the attached article for more information that may help you in your situation

The information provided is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. This information is designed for general information only. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your specific situation. We invite you to contact us and welcome your calls, letters and emails. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to us until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established.


The risk to you are too numerous to mention in a forum such as this one. You need to speak to an attorney and an accountant.

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