Can Women Also Be Asked To Pay Alimony ?

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Hearing about the alimony given in a reverse-round way may make you feel skeptical and dubious about it. The idea of ‘women helping men’ financially may seem implausible or far-fetched to you, however, it’s becoming increasingly common. It’s too far from being one-in-a-million cases. In fact, the last thirty years or so, have witnessed the number of women paying alimony to their ex-husbands snowballing. Women ending their marriages are stuck paying support to their ex-spouses, also known as ‘manimony’.

“Thirty years ago, when I first started practising law, I perceived zero such cases. But today’s scene depicts something else- in about ten per cent of my cases, I have seen female clients having to pay their ex-husbands alimony”, said Lynne Gold Bikin, 65, family law chair at Wolfblock LLP based in Morristown, Pennsylvania.

Women have been making some staid progress and reaching the sky in the corporate world. However, greater responsibility is a part and parcel of greater paycheques. According to a research study conducted in 2013, women are the dominant or solo breadwinners in 40% of households. Another Research study found that up to two million men in 2012 were stay-at-home fathers, raising their children, while their wives went out to work in the corporate world. The historic concept of alimony being provided to women after a divorce has turned upside down, in the last few years featuring equality for women. “Part of the reason is the simple fact that over a period of time, more women are minting more and more money. They wanted to stand equal to men, well,  now they have. Women who make more money or are financially stronger than their husbands are the ones who pay spousal support”, he added.

It can turn into a gruelling and despondent eventuality and may seem unfair. But if the woman is career-oriented and the guy family-oriented, it paints an unequivocal picture of how it’s going to be.

Some slow-in-the-head and old-world people feel that it’s just plain unfair for a woman to financially support her ex-spouse after the break up of their marriage. “If it’s fair for a husband, earning more than her wife, to pay her alimony, then it’s also fair for a woman earning more to pay her husband. Gender bias should not have a place in this society: as stated by women themselves”, said Brette McWhorter Sember, 39, in an email interview.

Generally, men tend to be more hesitant in accepting the manimony: pride gets in their way. Men do not want women to feel that they are a hundred years too early to make money and take care of themselves. It has been observed many times, that men who could have easily received some maintenance, dismiss it. Not many women do that. But the reverse has also been seen. “How often can gold diggers be seen marrying someone to have more money? Everyday! I have seen money-grasping men as well as women”, says 52-year-old Carlsbad, California based lawyer.

Like many others aspects of court, little consideration is given to what the parties involved feel or think. When you are unable to solve your problem yourselves and seek the help of the judicial system, you get what you get. You can never deny it. In California, for instance, you will be authorized to be paid alimony only for half the number of years the marriage has existed. The law is the law, that is the deal. You cannot appeal it. According to Sember, most women are not even aware of this consequence. Many are aghast when they find out that they may be asked to pay support maintenance.

Either way, the court often doesn’t care. “These women allowed their hubbies to live off their hard-earned money and become spending spree for how many years? Their money led to the creation of their own monsters and now they want to complain about it”, Gold Bikin said. “They should have seen it coming.”

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