Should I Ask for a Lump Sum Child Support Payment?


After a Pasadena divorce, child support payments are set to provide for the care of the children of the couple. The law states that both parents are responsible for financial support, regardless of whether or not they choose to stay married.

If you are in the middle of a divorce, you might be wondering if it's possible to get a lump sum child support payment instead of regular monthly payments. The idea of getting a lump sum child support payment recently made headlines when basketball player Allen Iverson's ex-wife asked for child support to be paid upfront through October 2026 (the date when their youngest child would turn 18).

On the surface, this seems like a good idea. It prevents the noncustodial parent from being delinquent on payments and provides a secure source of funds for the child. Allen Iverson has been chronically late on child support payments in the past, so his ex-wife's attorneys are arguing that she shouldn't have to keep going back to court to get the money that she is legally owed.

In practice, however, a lump sum payment is almost never recommended. Lump sum payments assume that circumstances won't change, which is impossible to predict. The noncustodial parent might lose his job or remarry and have a second family to support. The child might develop a disability and need more support to provide for expensive therapy and medical care. There is also the problem of what would happen if the custodial parent mismanaged the money and the funds were no longer there to care for the child.

In the past, courts have ruled that a parent can't forfeit a child's right to receive continuing support in favor of a lump sum payment. Theoretically, if circumstances changed and the custodial parent wanted greater support payments at a later date, a non-custodial parent could very well be forced to pay additional child support even after making a lump sum payment in good faith.

How Can We Help?

If you have questions about your child support payments, please call our office at (626) 683-8113 or email us at Our Pasadena family law firm is staffed with experienced attorneys who can make sure your children get the support they deserve.