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The de-gendering of divorce: wives pay ex-husbands alimony too

On Behalf of | May 22, 2013 | Family Law

Due to the changing dynamics of working women, changes are also occurring in the courtroom. One significant change in family law deals with alimony and the de-gendering of divorce. More Colorado women may face court orders that require them to pay alimony to their husbands than in previous decades.

Previously, alimony was only a term that was associated with men paying it. This legal arrangement gave recognition to the deal that married couples would often make: a man would go to work to financially provide for the family while the woman would take care of the children and the home. An economist said that this arrangement allowed both spouses to be successful in their realms; the man had a better chance of becoming successful in his career while the woman could pay more attention to her kids and home. When marriages dissolved, alimony provided recognition of the woman’s sacrifice of her own career goals and the loss of earning power that she had exchanged in support of her husband’s aspirations.

However, gender roles are not nearly as defined today as they were decades ago. Many families consist of two breadwinners. More and more frequently, women are the primary earners while men provide supplemental income. Approximately 40 percent of wives who work make more than their husbands. Additionally, there are twice as many stay-at-home dads as there were ten years ago. Due to the changing dynamics, more women are expected to doll out alimony to their husbands who have lower incomes. Some women have responded by joining the fight against permanent alimony.

Colorado family law attorneys help clients who are going through divorce. They help with family law issues such as child custody matters, divorce proceedings, property division issues, grandparents’ rights, visitation, child support, alimony and spousal support.

Source: TIME Ideas, “The De-Gendering of Divorce: Wives Pay Ex-Husbands Alimony Too Read more:“, Liza Mundy, May 16, 2013