Traditionally, when society speaks about or thinks of alimony, it has been given by Massachusetts men to their ex-wives. However, in the last few years, there has been an increase in the number of men requesting and receiving alimony. As the number of women climbing the career ladder rises, so does the number of stay-at-home fathers, as well as the number of men seeking alimony. Women are now actually the top earners in one-third of all marriages, and as women continue to narrow the income gap, it has resulted in some unforeseen consequences, especially when it comes to divorce.
Men typically seek alimony for the same reasons that women do:
1. They gave up their career to be a stay-at-home dad, because their wife was the breadwinner in their family and made significantly more money than they did.
2. They made sacrifices in their career so their wives could build theirs. This may sound far reached, but there are actually men out there that put their wife's career needs ahead of their own, specifically if it gives them an opportunity to make significantly more income.
3. They use it as a tool to negotiate a better divorce settlement. Some men know their wife won't want to write a monthly check, but would agree to a lump sum payout, giving him a larger cut of her retirement or their marital residence.
'Manimony', as it has been dubbed, is also somewhat a controversial or heated topic for both men and women. Women want to be deemed as equals in the workplace and all aspects of gender equality, and thus are now being treated equally in the legal arena as well. However, some women are angry about having to pay alimony to their ex-husbands. Some feel that it's the men's responsibility to provide for the family, and there's no reason their ex-husbands can't be as self-sufficient as they are. Other women have cited the man's ability to provide for their family the reason they left the marriage to begin with, and don't feel it's fair that they should have to support their ex-husband by providing alimony.
But the law is clear, and manimony payments are based on the same criteria as alimony payments. The family courts look at the disparity in income, length of the marriage, and the potential for future income (among other factors).
The subject of alimony is a very important topic for many divorcing couples, and also a very emotional one. If you have questions about alimony, whether you are a man or woman, please feel free to contact the Law Offices of Renee Lazar at 978-844-4095 to schedule a FREE one hour no obligation consultation.