Increasingly, women are out-earning their husbands. That means that in divorce, more men are now seeking alimony from their wives. There’s even a rather unflattering nickname for it — “manimony.”
We don’t know what percentage of men currently receive alimony. According to the last census, it was just 3 percent. The 2020 census is likely to reflect a larger number.
While it’s only fair that men should have the same right to seek spousal support as women do if the situation warrants it, many women still have serious problems with their soon-to-be exes asking for money. One family law attorney says, “Women having to pay spousal support are the most difficult clients to represent because they are so damn angry.” She adds, “They are offended by the notion that they would have to continue to pay for an able-bodied man.”
Alimony is often awarded to allow people whose careers have taken a back seat to their spouses’ time to get back into the full-time workforce and update their skills so that they can earn enough money to be self-sufficient. Those people are usually women who took care of the home and kids while the husband was able to pursue his career. Alimony paid to those women has been viewed, at least in part, as compensation for their work in the domestic sphere.
However, many women who have become successful in their careers have also continued to have the lion’s share of responsibility for taking care of the kids and the home. Therefore, they may understandably be resentful of being asked to pay spousal support to their husbands, whom they feel did less than they did to keep the family going.
Of course, it’s one thing for a man to ask for spousal support so that he can maintain the lifestyle he’s grown accustomed to thanks to his wife’s career. It’s another if a man gave up his career to take care of the kids while his wife pursued her dreams, or paid her way through law school or medical school so that she could become one of the foremost professionals in her field.
Those factors will be taken into consideration if spousal support is put in the hands of a judge to decide. Whether you’re being asked to pay alimony or you’re seeking it, it’s essential to have experienced legal guidance to help you make your case.
Source: Brides, “What Is “Manimony” and How Does It Affect Women?,” Léa Rose Emery, March 16, 2018