Spousal Support for Men

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 Can Men Receive Spousal Support or Alimony?

Men can receive spousal support or alimony after divorce. However, it can be an uphill battle, especially if your ex-wife did not expect to pay it. Most women cannot comprehend paying their former spouse’s alimony, but legally this is possible.

Alimony is the financial support received from one spouse to another. The main purpose of it is to provide financial assistance to the individual till they can independently afford their livelihood. However, in some cases, alimony can be awarded during the divorce and even last till either spouse passes away or remarries. Generally, most states have criteria for obtaining alimony. Furthermore, even if you are the husband, you can still be eligible to receive alimony. Do not assume you will not receive spousal support; reach out to a family lawyer to guide you.

According to the American Divorce Association for Men, often, men feel pressured by societal norms to seek alimony for themselves. They believe that they cannot rely on their ex-wife for financial support. However, this is not valuable because the law allows men to seek alimony. This further applies when the men could not financially provide because they stayed behind to care for the children. Seeking spousal support is fair and equitable for the husband too. Many lifestyle situations now call for an equal for both genders to request alimony once they divorce.

For example, if you were employed but your salary was lower than your wife’s, you may be eligible for alimony. The primary benefit of alimony is to leave both spouses equally in manageable financial health. Therefore, if your wife makes more money than you, it is legally possible to receive alimony.

During a marriage, the money is combined, and both have equal rights to spend the money. Especially if both of you had similar expenses and allocated money towards that, this should not shift during divorce, allowing you to obtain alimony from your wife and continue your lifestyle once the marriage is terminated.

Furthermore, if you served your children and became a stay-at-home dad for years, you have a higher chance for alimony. This situation is comparable to many stay-at-home mothers that are not employed. Most of the time is spent caring for the children, meaning you do not have time or the opportunity to work.

Being a stay-at-home caregiver is considered a full-time job. Therefore, it is not fair to walk away from the marriage with nothing to demonstrate for your hard work regarding finances. Additionally, although the primary caretaker cannot work, they eventually save you a lot of money that would have been spent on childcare. This needs to be factored in when determining your contribution to the household.

Moreover, you can seek alimony if your career suffers due to your marriage. For instance, if you need further education to complete your qualifications but cannot do so because you stayed behind to care for your children. Now that you are seeking a divorce, you may need to get a job. If you had a career before but after raising the children, you were out of the workforce for a long period.

Being absent from the workforce for a long time impacts your career in the future. Finding a place, networking, and developing a professional circle is more challenging, especially since you handle household responsibilities and cannot find the time for anything else and if you have to move due to your spouse’s job. You would have to start new somewhere else. It will be difficult to locate a job that would be suitable for your family. The important thing to note is that alimony depends on your marriage’s financial circumstances, not gender.

What is the Purpose of Alimony?

The main purpose of alimony is to provide “reasonable and necessary” financial support. To receive the payments, you must demonstrate to the court that you need financial support and that the other spouse can make those necessary payments. You may request alimony when you file for divorce. If there is an alimony agreement, then you can make that agreement part of the court order.

However, if you cannot agree on the amount, the judge will decide your case to determine how much alimony you are eligible for. As mentioned earlier, gender is not a factor the court examines when determining alimony.

Remember that you must request alimony during your divorce proceeding because you will not be permitted to request it once the divorce case is finalized. Either spouse can seek spousal support from the court. If there is an agreement on how much and how long, the judge will sign off on it if it agrees with the regulations. However, if it is not equal or fair, the judge will intervene and determine the proper amount of alimony for the case.

Different types of alimony can be awarded. Furthermore, the length of the alimony can also vary depending on your situation. You and your spouse can agree to include the length of your alimony arrangement in the court order. If you do not agree, the judge will decide what is reasonable for your situation. For instance, indefinite or permanent alimony does not end until either spouse passes away or the court deems alimony is no longer feasible.

Moreover, there is also time-limited alimony (also referred to as rehabilitative alimony) which continues for a limited time. For example, if one of the spouses stayed home caring for the children and could not complete their professional schooling. Therefore, the judge may award financial support while they complete the necessary training and become self-sufficient.

Lastly, remarriage is also one of the reasons that can terminate a marriage. But remember that alimony does not automatically end once you remarry. Your ex-spouse must request the court to terminate your alimony.

What Factors Does the Court Examine for Alimony?

There are certain factors that the court examines before awarding alimony. The judge may mandate alimony so long as it is considered just and proper. The following factors are determined as relevant for this particular region:

  • The ability to support yourself financially;
  • The amount of time needed to obtain the required training to be employed;
  • The duration of the marriage;
  • The standard of living while in the marriage;
  • The age of both parties;
  • Circumstances leading to the separation;
  • The physical and mental condition of each party;
  • The ability of the spouse to make the payments while supporting themselves and;
  • Financial needs and resources of each party that constitute income, assets, financial obligations of each party, and taxable income.

When Do I Need to Contact a Lawyer?

If you are a male caregiver and have recently filed for divorce, you can receive alimony from your spouse. Please do not hesitate to contact a local alimony attorney to assist you in obtaining your spousal support. You should know your rights as a male caregiver.

Disputes involving spousal support can be complex and may involve many different laws and statutes. An experienced lawyer can help research the laws to explain what your rights and options are moving forward. If there are any changes to the law that might affect your case, your lawyer can also keep you updated and informed.

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