It depends. Making a decision of whether to take more marital property instead of an income stream is a crucial one. Before making this decision, one needs to really determine future needs and possible consequences. For example, it could be catastrophic if you had to sell your house in the wrong market because you needed the money to live.
There are some advantages to an "alimony buyout" (taking more money or property upfront):
However, there can be advantages to taking a guaranteed income stream instead of taking property:
When making this type of life-changing decision, be informed and prepared. It can be helpful to work with a financial planner to help identify possible outcomes to different settlement options. It's important to factor in all possible tax ramifications and costs associated with the different options.
Stephanie Maloney is a principal of Financial Solutions for Divorce, a southern California divorce planning firm that helps divorcing couples and individuals achieve lifetime financial security by facilitating a financial settlement that takes into consideration the long-term well being of the entire family.