The Road of Alimony Ahead
Fewer and fewer men are outright rejecting any talk of seeking alimony.
Today, men in growing numbers are receiving alimony for the classic reasons that women traditionally did. A common argument is that they sacrificed their careers for the sake of their wives'.
Some feminists even applaud the alimony advances of men. "We can't assert rights for women and say that men aren't entitled to the same rights," says the California feminist lawyer, Gloria Allred.
Other men have learned that alimony is a powerful negotiating tactic, especially when their estranged wives clearly want to sever all ties. "For some people, it is truly offensive to write out a check each month to a spouse for support," says Sue Moss, a divorce lawyer at Chemtob Moss Forman & Talbert LLP in New York. "In those instances, if you can offer a financial package that is essentially the same as if maintenance was being paid, it is the preferable alternative."
Indeed, the increasingly common practice of trading alimony for a fatter slice of marital assets helps explain why the overall number of people reporting alimony income fell 17% during the decade ended in 2006, to a total of fewer than 400,000, the Census Bureau says.
Of course, some women are indignant now that the shoe pinches when it’s on the other foot. But courts are not receptive to the argument that "what's yours is ours, but what's mine is mine." Wives are now the primary breadwinners in one-third of all marriages, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and gender equality puts them at risk of paying alimony.
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TYPES OF ALIMONY -- Alimony is mainly divided into four categories: temporary alimony, rehabilitative alimony, permanent alimony and reimbursement alimony. Temporary alimony (alimony pendente lite) is given to one spouse (usually the woman) pending a divorce. Rehabilitative alimony is given to a lesser earning spouse until she (or he) becomes self-sufficient. Permanent alimony is also given to the lesser earning spouse until the death of either one of them or until remarriage of the recipient. Reimbursement alimony is given as reimbursement for the expenses incurred by a spouse during the time of marriage.
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