Alimony knows no gender when it comes to divorce

For a long time, people associated alimony payments with wives receiving payments from working husbands. However, as more and more women work outside of the home, those roles are beginning to shift when it comes to divorce. Maryland couples may be interested to know that, compared to just a few years ago, many husbands are now seeking alimony when they divorce.

One man recounts his quest for alimony as he and his wife navigated their divorce. He says she was an orthopedic surgeon who made considerably more money than he did. He intentionally scaled back his career options in order to be more present for the children as his wife's career required her to spend a great deal of time away from the family. As they went through a divorce, he naturally sought alimony payments simply based on the fact that she earned much more.

The change in how alimony is distributed shows that more mothers or wives are earning more than their husbands, and therefore, courts are noticing an uptick in men asking for alimony. A law passed in 1979 underscored the fact that alimony is not dependent on gender. However, men may not always seek alimony, even if they are in a financial position to warrant being the recipient of it.

Whenever a divorce occurs, two income families essentially need to adjust to life as single income families or individuals. Alimony can help either partner maintain a certain standard of living and can give a stay-at-home parent the time needed to get on stable financial footing when they have been out of the workforce for some time. A Maryland judge will consider many factors when deciding alimony, such as the income of both and potential employability. Courts will also consider the health and age of the parties, as well as the needs of children involved.

Source: Reuters.com, More men get alimony from their ex-wives, Geoff Williams, Dec. 24, 2013