Alimony, or spousal support, are the payments made to one partner after a divorce. Alimony payments help exes regain their financial footing and are an essential tool in rebuilding your life after divorce. Both men and women are equally entitled to alimony payments, yet the figures point to a dramatic discrepancy when it comes to who is awarded spousal support. Here is what you need to know about spousal support for men after divorce.
During divorce proceedings, a spouse may ask the judge to award financial payments to help support them during or after the divorce is finalized. The parties may agree on the amount paid, or the couple may have a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement that sets out these payments. If there is no agreement between both parties, however, the judge will look at several factors and decide if there should be an award and what that amount is. These payments are known as “alimony”, “maintenance”, or “spousal support”.
Men Are Eligible for Spousal Support
While alimony payments are traditionally associated with the female partner in a divorce, all parties in a divorce, regardless of the gender, are legally allowed to seek spousal support payments. That does not, however, mean that there is an even split when it comes to alimony payments.
As Forbes Online notes, of the 400,000 individuals in the United States receiving spousal support after divorce, just three percent are men. This despite census data showing that roughly 40 percent of households in the nation having a female breadwinner. What this means, they argue, is that while hundreds of thousands of men are potentially eligible for alimony payments, very few are actually receiving them. But why?
Gender Roles and Spousal Support
What then, is the cause of this discrepancy in terms of alimony payments? The most obvious answer is the inability to break gender norms in the country. “Gender equality is a relatively new concept in the span of history, and old stereotypes die hard,” states San Francisco divorce expert Mark Ressa. “A successful man is considered to be a breadwinning man and asking for alimony is considered emasculating.”
There may be other reasons for this discrepancy, however. One of them, Forbes notes, maybe sexism. They argue that the reason some men may miss out on alimony payments is that judges are also bound by these hardened gender roles or may be flat out sexist, believing men need to prove their worth by earning their own keep, rather than accepting a perceived handout. Regardless of the reasons, the simple fact remains that more and more men are eligible to revive spousal support payments, but few are claiming them.
Contact an Experienced Family Law Attorney
If you are considering divorce or were served with divorce papers, you need to speak to an expert family law attorney right away. Contact the Law Offices of James C. DeZao today for your free consultation. Our experienced family law attorneys are here to help you through this difficult time in your life and will fight to ensure you get what you are legally entitled to. Divorce is never easy. Fortunately, choosing the right family law attorney can be. Call DeZao Law today at (973) 358-6134.