The other way one can go about getting lump sum alimony is to actually have a contested hearing. If one has a contested hearing on alimony, one of the things that the court is going to do is they’re going to look at the equities of the situation. For example, if a situation where one person does not have a whole lot of income, but there has been a significant degree of contribution to the marriage that one person has made to the other in terms of income and assets, what the court will do is sometimes they will award lump sum alimony. Now, one thing that the court is required to do is make findings of fact and conclusions of law. This means they have to clearly state on the record as to why they’re awarding the lump sum alimony.
There has to be a justification and the court has to clearly explain why they’re awarding lump sum alimony. The other thing that has to be done is that any kind of award of lump sum alimony cannot be disproportionate to a person’s ability to pay. That’s clearly stated in the West Virginia code. That’s one thing that the court has at its disposal as a tool is the ability to award lump sum alimony. Sometimes the court will award lump sum alimony. If one is going to try to pursue lump sum alimony, sometimes it’s in one’s best interest to pursue it.
On the other side, sometimes it’s in one’s best interest to pay it if paying. Speak to an attorney and see if he can reach some sort of agreement. The court can approve such agreements for lump sum alimony. Usually if there’s some sort of asset at one person’s disposal that will allow them to pay the lump sum alimony, then the court may award it. If for example, one has a piece of property or they have some accounts with a lot of money in it, sometimes that can be used to pay one person some form of lump sum alimony as well.