Why don’t men get alimony more often?

Though many people often think of men as the main breadwinners for the family unit in the vast majority of cases, recent studies show that this is largely an outdated mode of thinking. In reality, roughly 40 percent of households have women as the main earners.

When it comes to alimony, there are about 400,000 people in the country being paid. Out of that, a tiny 3 percent are men. When considering this with the 40 percent figure above, it stands to reason that a lot of men could be asking for and receiving alimony, but they’re simply not doing it. Why not?

There are many reasons. Experts have noted that the following show up often:

— Gender roles that just won’t go away: As noted, many people automatically assume that men should be the main providers, despite the real-world statistics, so men may not consider asking for alimony.

— Pride: One man said that he would never hit a woman or beg for her help, and he felt like alimony was no better than begging. Despite the fact that his wife made more than $100,000 a year, he didn’t ask for alimony and instead got help from his parents.

— Sexist judges: In some cases, a man may fully be qualified for alimony, and a judge may have ruled that it should be paid if the roles were reversed, but the judge allows bias to sway his or her decision, refusing to give alimony to the man. In some ways, this is just an extension of the aforementioned gender roles.

Remember, men and women are supposed to be viewed equally in court, and gender itself should not impact alimony payments. Be sure you know how to fight for your rights in Massachusetts.

Source: Forbes, “Why Do So Few Men Get Alimony?,” Emma Johnson, accessed July 21, 2016

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