Men Negotiating Spousal Support (Alimony)

According to Forbes magazine, more than 400,000 people in the United States receive alimony after a divorce. Only 3% of these recipients are men.

The 2014 article focuses on a reality that many may not realize or want to accept: gender stereotypes and sexism often prevent husbands from receiving fair spousal support awards after a divorce, even in cases where a husband has put his career on hold in an effort to support his wife’s career success.

Over 4o% of U.S. households have women at the helm as the key wage earner and overall breadwinner. So, it’s logical to expect that a female higher income earner— like her male counterpart—would be compelled to pay alimony every month to her ex.  

The Forbes article suggests some men may feel emasculated at the mere idea of asking for alimony.  Reported concerns included fear of being seen as lazy, or a “loser”, causing others to wonder why they didn’t grow up and get a better job once they split from their wives.

Many lawyers would agree that very few men walk into an attorney’s office with the intent of seeking alimony, even when their situations are clearly eligible for spousal support. Meanwhile, some say, female breadwinners never pay alimony without a contentious battle.  As one lawyer was quoted, “Every guy in that situation has to go through a fight, while [breadwinning] guys go into the divorce accepting they have to pay…Men are essentially shamed into not receiving alimony.”

Man or woman, if a divorce will leave one spouse with very little income and the other with sufficient income to contribute support, a court should award support. But it will likely be a fight. A male homemaker has just as much of a right to alimony as a female in the same role. Spousal support is frequently awarded to a homemaker or lower-income earner, who often has put his or her career on hold for the benefit of the family and the higher-income earning spouse.

No circumstance is the same. Hire a lawyer with an understanding of men’s spousal support rights before you head to court.

The experienced family law attorneys at the DiPietro Family Law Group have decades of experience handling all types of family law matters and are here to help you.

Contact one of the DiPietro family law attorneys today to schedule a consultation with a caring professional at (703) 370 – 5555, or visit us online.

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