More men are seeking alimony because of changing cultural values. When a woman achieves success in the corporate world or her own business, she may be ordered to pay alimony to her former husband, at least temporarily. A stay-at-home dad who raises the children while the wife works is likely to be given some kind of financial support until he can find work. If he has been out of the workforce for a long time, then the former wife may be required to pay support for several years to allow him to go back to school or take a job training course.
The judge may order that alimony be paid longer when the husband is unable to work due to illness or disability (including a problem with drugs or alcohol). The judge can also order that alimony be paid permanently.
More and more men are seeking alimony because there is no shame in accepting support from their ex-wives. The percentage of male alimony recipients rose to 3.6% during the five years ending in 2006, up from 2.4% in the previous five-year period, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
The percentage of men seeking alimony will rise as the earning potential of women increases. In 2005, wives out-earned their husbands in 33% of families where both husband and wife were employed, up from 28.2% a decade earlier.
Husbands seek alimony for the same reasons wives seek alimony. Men who sacrificed their careers so their wives could build theirs turn to alimony as a way of making things equal. Many men put their wife’s career needs above their own. Men who became stay-at-home parents seek compensation for years of raising children, doing laundry and cooking dinner. Men seek alimony as a way to negotiate a better divorce settlement agreement. Men, like woman, know that it is a powerful tool to be used with a wife who does not like the idea of writing a monthly check. She may be more willing to give up the vacation home or a larger portion of her retirement benefits if she knows it will mean cutting off all ties with her soon to be ex husband.
Men or women who are the primary breadwinners should be responsible for paying what the courts say is fair, and it shouldn’t matter that the recipients are male or female.
Some men don’t seek alimony because of the stigma attached to being supported by a woman. They don’t want to be that guy but do not protect themselves or take advantage of what divorce laws allow them.