On behalf of The Walters Law Group, Ltd. posted in Family Law on Saturday, May 25, 2013.
With the growing trend of women earning more income than their husbands, more women are being ordered to pay spousal support to their husbands in divorce cases. Alimony was once a means of providing economic and legal recognition for women, who mostly stayed out of the workforce. This allowed them to take care of the duties of running the household. In the event of a divorce, alimony acknowledged that the wife had sacrificed her earning power to maximize that of her husband for the benefit of their household. Now there is a movement to degender spousal support, as most households have two incomes and, in many cases, the woman earns a higher salary.
The increase in women choosing to stay in the workforce has also led to a change between couples when deciding which partner will work. There are now a variety of arrangements, including those in which both parties work outside the home, as well as husbands who agree to stay at home while the wife maximizes her career potential.
Women are not the only ones who are feeling tension as a result of the changes. Men who stay at home are reportedly feeling more vulnerable. Despite loving their wives, some men experience uneasiness as a result of not being the one with the primary income. Overall, men and women are feeling a variety of mixed emotions over the new ways in which labor may be divided and current trends in the way spousal support is awarded.
The issue of alimony or spousal support is clearly not cut and dry. This may especially be true in cases in which both parties worked outside the home for the duration of the marriage. People who are struggling over the division of assets and the potential of pay or receiving spousal support may find it helpful to work with a divorce lawyer.
Source: TIME.com, “The De-Gendering of Divorce: Wives Pay Ex-Husbands Alimony Too“, Liza Mundy, May 16, 2013