Alimony not just for Massachusetts women in divorce

It has been many years since women were primarily thought of as the weaker sex. If asked, many residents of Massachusetts would likely say men and women are equals. Women have the same rights as men, and most men see women as their equals in business, managing finances and other activities once solely the responsibility of men. So why, then, do men not ask for alimony during divorce proceedings in situations where the wife makes more money?

According to the U.S. Census, there were only 12,000 male recipients of alimony, as compared to the 380,000 female recipients, in 2010. Given that nearly 40 percent of mothers who are married make an income greater than that of their husbands, one would think the number of men receiving alimony would be higher. When judges look at alimony in divorce proceedings, gender is not supposed to be a factor, so why do fewer men get alimony? Answered simply, they often just don’t ask for it.

Many men see alimony as something for women. Some men reportedly see asking for alimony as a sign of weakness. When asking for alimony, even judges can have preconceived feelings about awarding spousal support for men. This is why men should be prepared to provide proof that alimony is needed to provide for their basic needs.

In order for spousal support to discontinue being mostly for women, men will have to overcome gender biases and allow themselves an opportunity to receive support they may desperately need after a divorce. Alimony need not be a permanent means of supporting oneself — it can be a temporary means of financially surviving a divorce. In order to receive alimony if it is needed, however, men in Massachusetts will need to start asking for it.

Source: Huffington Post, “Joseph E. Cordell: Why Don’t More Men Ask For Alimony?” Joseph E Cordell, June 26, 2013

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