When couples in California divorce, the issue of alimony is often a significant consideration. Traditionally, men have assumed responsibility for paying alimony to a former spouse. Despite an increased influx of women into the workforce, spousal support is still typically paid by men to women, not the other way around.
The reasons many men don’t receive alimony are varied. In previous decades, many women gave up working outside the home when they got married, and women who did work outside the home may not have earned as much as their male counterparts. As a result, the legal system regarded women as financially vulnerable after divorce and ordered alimony as a way of helping a woman maintain her standard of living.
In modern times, however, many women not only work outside the home but also out-earn their husbands. In some families, it is the husband who puts off his career goals to stay home and raise a family. These men may not even ask for spousal support during a divorce, or they may only be awarded alimony for a short period of time. In some cases, this reflects the outdated views of some judges who believe that men should be able to support themselves. In addition, some men feel uncomfortable being supported by a woman. Unfortunately, these men may suffer severe financial and personal hardships by not asking for spousal support.
Men who are concerned about supporting themselves during and after a divorce may benefit from talking to a divorce lawyer about alimony. A lawyer may be able to review the client’s financial situation and make recommendations regarding spousal support. If a client is already receiving alimony but is concerned about what they are receiving, the attorney may be able to look into an alimony modification that better meets the client’s needs.
Source: Forbes, “Why Do So Few Men Get Alimony?,” Emma Johnson, November 20, 2014