Family Law / Divorce Library

Our library contains very general information about various areas of the law. It is written by lawyers who are listed in our directory and provide legal coaching or limited scope legal services.

We're continuously adding to this Library, parts of it may be incomplete.

You're Viewing:

Spousal Support:
Lump sum spousal support

Lump sum spousal support

When there are sufficient resources, spouses sometimes agree that spousal support will be paid all at once, or in a few instalments, rather than monthly. This gives both spouses more certainty and results in less ongoing conflict.

Sometimes courts will also award lump sum spousal support, typically following a trial. There isn't a closed list of situations when lump sum support is appropriate for a court to award, but it may be appropriate where the payor may fritter away capital so as to be unable to pay, where the recipient needs a lump sum to go to university or to retrain, or where the level of ill will between the spouse is such that a clean break would benefit them (Rockall v Rockall, 2010 ABCA 278 at para 24).

Although spousal support and partner support are typically tax-deductible by the payor and taxable income payable by the recipient, lump sum spousal support does not result in tax to the recipient, and the payor cannot deduct lump sum spousal support paid. As a result, lawyers use software like ChildView and DivorceMate to adjust lump sum spousal support for tax.

ChildView and DivorceMate calculators also adjust for:

  • The Present Value of support. Money is worth more now than if paid over time, because it can be invested, or used to pay down debt and avoid interest payments. As a result, the calculators reduce the amount of lump sum spousal support to account for this benefit to the recipient and disadvantage to the payor.

  • Contingency Discounts. If support is paid all at once, then the recipient no longer faces risk of non-payment, or risk that circumstances will change and the payor's income will decrease. For example, if the payor suffered a lifelong disability preventing them from working after paying lump sum spousal support was paid, then they would have overpaid support. For that reason, support calculators reduce lump sum spousal support by the estimated risk.

You can hire a lawyer in a limited scope basis to perform a support calculation for you. See our Directory for a list of lawyers who perform limited scope work:

Want to receive new and updated Library content by email?

You're Viewing:

Spousal Support:
Lump sum spousal support


Content by Ken Proudman of BARR LLP (Edmonton)

Last updated on November 11, 2022

Last complete review of all content on this page on November 12, 2022

DISCLAIMER: The content in this Library is provided by generous volunteer lawyers. It is not legal advice, and does not represent the views of the Alberta Legal Coaches and Limited Services Society. The listed authors have only added paragraphs, and have not reviewed the entire document, nor any subsequent edits. You should not rely entirely on this material, we strongly recommend that you consult a lawyer. By using this website in any way, you agree to be bound by our Terms of Use.

© 2021 to 2024 Alberta Legal Coaches and Limited Services Society.

DISCLAIMER: The information herein is not legal, tax, or accounting advice or opinions. This website contains content and files submitted by third parties, to which you download or view at your own risk. The Alberta Legal Coaches and Limited Services Society is merely a directory, it is not responsible for the actions or omissions of the lawyers listed in its directory. By using this website, you agree to release the Alberta Legal Coaches and Limited Services Society, its agents, employees, and directors from all present and future claims and liability, including liability arising from any negligence.

View full Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy