Alimony is the legal term referring to financial support which one spouse is required by a court to give to another following a divorce. Traditionally this is a payment which the man gives to the woman because he is the primary bread-winner of the family. However, as more fathers are choosing to put their careers on hold to become the stay-at-home parent the perceptions of alimony are changing.
It’s clear that traditional gender roles within the household are shifting with the modern day family. But, are perceptions within the law also shifting to meet these new family dynamics? For example if you have one spouse who is a high-powered executive and primary bread-winner of the family making $400,000 a year does it matter if that spouse is the man, or the woman?
Family Law attorney Jonathan Fogel seems to think that old perceptions still weigh more heavily than income or status. “I see this type of situation all the time with women who are successful business owners, CEOs and executives. They’ve been the top, or only earner in the family. Then, all of a sudden, they’re getting a divorce and are expected to support their husbands with what’s now being dubbed as manimony. Let’s just say my clients that fall into this category aren’t too pleased about supporting their exes.”
Women argue even if they are the CEO of their own company, for example, they are still often the CEO of the house as well. The school calls them when the kids are sick. These moms still take the kids to the dentist, doctor and extracurricular activities and often wake up in the middle of the night when the child is sick. These high-powered female executives argue because they are moms, by definition, the bulk of the care seems to rest on their shoulders. They’re doing double-duty, so to speak, and don’t want to send a check to their ex every month because they don’t believe he bares the brunt of the single parent job.
But, for years men have been paying support to ex-wives who have been staying home to raise the children and manage the house. The argument is that these moms have sacrificed income and a career for their families and they deserve a compensation for that sacrifice. However the goal of spousal maintenance is to financially support someone who cannot support himself or herself after the marriage ends. So should the rules change if this spouse is the man or the woman in the relationship?
Jeffrey Feulner and the Men’s Divorce Law Firm are knowledgeable in alimony law and are here to answer your legal questions. Aggressively representing husbands and fathers we believe in fairness for all parties at all points in the marriage or divorce process.