It's said that justice is blind, and that is becoming more apparent in the area of divorces and alimony. In the past, most husbands earned more than their wives. However, there are a growing number of marriages in which the wife is the breadwinner. As this trend changes, the face of spousal support is also changing. Now, it is not uncommon for a woman to wind up paying support to her ex-husband.
This change comes as a surprise to many women who are not accustomed to men receiving alimony payments. The thought of paying alimony to their ex-spouses angers them, but it serves as a reminder of what alimony was made for. Alimony recognizes the fact that one spouse sometimes makes sacrifices so that their partner can focus more on their career. Staying home with the children or limiting work hours can drastically lower that partner's income potential, and alimony payments are intended to recognize that fact and ensure that both partners are protected financially.
When you are going through a divorce, you cannot count on traditional gender roles. Women do not automatically receive spousal support because it is based on several other factors. The courts will review the income difference, health of both parties, whether one spouse is caring for the children and if either party is at fault in the divorce. They will also look at the length of the marriage, and those partnerships lasting more than 25 years may be awarded permanent alimony.
Whether you are trying to protect your income levels or you are going to need spousal support to help make ends meet after a divorce, it is important to understand the laws and how they affect you. A divorce attorney specializing in property distribution and family law may be able to inform you of your rights and offer you valuable legal advice to help you protect your best interests during this time.
Source: TIME.com, "The De-Gendering of Divorce: Wives Pay Ex-Husbands Alimony Too", Liza Mundy, May 16, 2013