At the Law Office of Lily L. Huang in California, we know that times have changed when it comes to alimony. Whereas these moneys once were paid only by men to their ex-wives, today both men and women can receive alimony when they divorce. Consequently, the payments no longer go by the name of alimony, but rather spousal support. In fact, when a woman makes these payments to her ex-husband, the Women’s Institute for Financial Education says their nickname is manimony.
If you have heard your mother or grandmother talk about the Women’s Movement of the 1970s, you know that women have long sought equality with men, especially when it comes to equal pay for equal work. Much progress has occurred in this area during the past 40 years, as have the roles that men and women assume when they become husband and wife. For instance, a 2012 Pew Research study found that approximately two million men are stay-at-home dads while their wives work. A subsequent 2013 study found that in 40 percent of American households, the woman is the leading, if not the only, breadwinner.
If you are a highly-paid career woman contemplating divorce, you need to consider the possibility that your lower-paid spouse may well ask for spousal support. While this idea may irritate you greatly, you should consider the fact that the whole purpose of spousal support by any other name is to help maintain the less advantaged spouse meet his or her financial obligations while (s)he gets back on his or her financial feet.
While manimony is still a distinctly minor divorce phenomenon, occurring in less than 20 percent of divorces, courts take the following factors into consideration when awarding it:
- The disparity between you and your spouse’s current earnings
- The disparity between you and your spouse’s potential earning capacity
- Whether or not your spouse needs additional education and/or training to be able to obtain better employment
- The length of your marriage
Specified time period
Even if you must pay manimony, you will not have to continue doing so for the rest of your or your spouse’s life. For one thing, spousal support payments always end if and when your ex-spouse remarries. In addition, they usually end when (s)he completes whatever additional education and/or training (s)he needs or in a specified number of years.
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