Female Breadwinners Less Likely To Pay Alimony


Two North Carolina divorce attorneys recently spoke about the reasons why they believe men don’t ask for alimony even when their situations call for it. According to the attorneys, a combination of gender stereotypes held by both spouses and bias in the judicial system leads to lower-earning men foregoing alimony petitions.

Census figures show that there are about 400,000 people who receive spousal support or alimony in the United States. Among these alimony recipients, only 3 percent are men. However, 40 percent of households in the U.S. have a woman as the main breadwinner. Many believe that these figures demonstrate that many divorced men are not receiving alimony from their ex-wives even though they are eligible for it.

One man who decided not to pursue alimony from his ex-wife said that he survived on subsistence wages and money from his parents for four years rather than ask his ex-wife for alimony. While he was married, his ex-wife had earned $100,000 a year while he stayed home with their two children. Some divorce attorneys say that a woman in the same position would be much more likely to ask for and receive alimony payments. However, when men petition a female breadwinner for alimony, they are usually in for a difficult legal battle.

With many women earning more money than their husbands today, there are a lot of men who are entitled to ask for alimony payments during a divorce. Depending on the circumstances, an award for alimony may be paid in a lump sum, over a long period of time or over a relatively short period of time. A man who would like to petition for alimony payments may want to have representation from an attorney.