Maintenance does not have to be paid on a monthly basis. It can be paid in one lump sum. A buy out of maintenance raises important and complicated tax issues. Consult an attorney or accountant before deciding to go ahead with a lump sum payment. The IRS offers a number of publications that may help you as you negotiate support: IRS Publication 505, Tax Withholding and Estimated Taxes, is one, and IRS Publication 504, Divorced or Separated Individuals, is another. Both are available at or by phone request at 800-829-3676.