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Men Receiving Alimony

Are Men Who Receive Alimony Any Different Than Women?

A story about men receiving alimony payments from their ex-wives got front-page placement in the Wall Street Journal this week. Some men who have been hiding their financial arrangements are now "shaking off the stigma of being supported by their ex-wives." In case you're not exactly sure, the WSJ explains what exactly is alimony.

Alimony — a distinctly different category from child support — is the money that higher-earning spouses hand to their lower-earning counterparts following the end of their marriage. Often it is court-ordered, years in duration and based on big discrepancies in spousal incomes.

It mentions that the perception of men who receive alimony has been that they're slackers. But the article also says that most men receiving the payments from their ex-wives made career sacrifices, for the sake of their other halves' careers, which caused the men to earn less during the marriage than they could have.


Join The Conversation
Beautifulbarbie Beautifulbarbie 9 years
I don't know any men who get it.
snowbunny11 snowbunny11 9 years
Alimony is extremely important! When a couple enters into marriage, one person might need to make career sacrifices for the good of the marriage, in order to keep up a nice home and raise kids if you want them! It isn't fair to throw a wife of 15 years who has been raising kids and maintaining the household, paying bills etc. out on the street penniless because she hasn't been earning any money! My boyfriend has recently been debating between continuing in academia after getting his Phd, or working as a quantitative analyst in banking, and I'm begging him to go the academia route (for now) because I expect to be working very long hours when I graduate from law school, and I refuse to have kids if at least one parent can't have decent hours. That would be potentially a $100k paycut for him! And if I decide to scale back on my career, that could set me back on the career ladder and I'd obviously make less money. I don't support alimony for laziness either, but it really can protect people who make certain sacrifices!
JaimeLeah526 JaimeLeah526 9 years
I don't really believe in alimony at all. Maybe if it's for a short period of time for the person to get used to their new lifestyle. With that being said... I don't think a man should be called a slacker for receiving alimony if it's okay for a woman to.
ilanac13 ilanac13 9 years
i think that the circumstances of a marriage and getting alimony when you get divorced shouldn't imply being a slacker or what have you. that's part of the fairness of being in a marriage..and not signing a pre-nup or anything. if you're not the main bread-winner and you've become accustomed to a lifestyle as a result of your spouses occupation, then you should be compensated (to an extent). then again, i'm not even married yet, so if i were to get married/divorced and it wasn't in my favor, who knows how i'd feel then
runningesq runningesq 9 years
I'm an attorney, and what GreenSkittles said is one reason why we have alimony. In Maryland, alimony is considered "rehabilatative" -- enough to get the lower (or non) earning spouse on their feet. It's rarely indefinite (although it may be, depending on the age, health, education, etc.) of the recieving spouse. Often times one spouse will work full time so another can go to graduate school, and shortly after graduation, they get a divorce. Should the spouse that supported the other during their education get screwed? Or - say the parties agree that the wife will stay home while the husband works outside of the home. This is why the Courts look at the contributions - financial and NON financial - that each party brought to the marriage.
cubadog cubadog 9 years
My sister got stuck paying alimony to her ex-husband. She was a flight attendant and not all that senior but getting there. Her ex on the other hand could not hold a job and when he would get fired or was forced to quit it was always some one else that was at fault never him. He has burned so many bridges and it took $20,000 of my Step Mom and my Dad's money to even get my sister child support. I am fine with alimony when you deserve it but when your just a dumb ass than I do not think you desercve a penny!
GreenSkittlesGal GreenSkittlesGal 9 years
Silverlining and Miss Priss, but what if one spouse left a career to raise children and/or to run the household? Upon re-entering the workforce, that spouse would take a drastic paycut, and I'm willing to bet in some professions may have to get re-trained (e.g., high-tech jobs). Shouldn't that person get alimony to make up for their lost earnings?
Le-Luxe Le-Luxe 9 years
Well, if women can do it and its automatically ok, then men should be able to too!
DearMissPriss DearMissPriss 9 years
I agree with Silverlining10, I think you should leave a marriage with what you came in with. I think it is annoying as hell that Heather Mills is getting all that money to secure HER and her daughter's your own future you stupid ho!
Silverlining10 Silverlining10 9 years
I don't think men OR women should be receiving alimony. When a marriage ends, it's no one's responsibility to support the other financially...A divorce should also mean a financial divorce from the other. Of course, child support is different...I think most parents should contribute equally, and more visitation rights, if possible, should be encouraged instead of financial assistance. I mean, you spend more time with the kid(s), you spend more...Seems easier.
beachbum1 beachbum1 9 years
If I were a man I wouldn't want alimony.
princessjaslew princessjaslew 9 years
equality. if we are to be truly equal with the other half, you gotta learn to accept it.
SkinnyMarie SkinnyMarie 9 years
I think it all depends on the situation. I know good examples and bad examples. Bad example = my uncle who is lazy and could never hold a job, so that is why they are getting a divorce. Paying alimony only supports his actions that caused a breakup. But I also know instances of the opposite.
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 9 years
Nope, they're not any different. JMHO.
SussLW SussLW 9 years
My husband would most certainly qualify for alimony if we were to divorce. He is a high school teacher, teaching 4 different subjects for 5 classes, coaches two sports and tutors after school - all this while also spearheading our complete kitchen renovation. I would hardly call him a slacker.
mini_pixie mini_pixie 9 years
Seems to me like this is one of the natural consequences of women being increasingly successful in the workplace, plus more men who are electing to be stay at home dads, both of which I think are great. Although, I can also see why some guys would feel uncomfortable with it, too.
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