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Fact or Fiction: Men Always Pay Alimony After a Divorce?

It’s been a long accepted urban myth that after a divorce the man is “always” going to be on the hook for alimony (spousal support). Everyone’s heard horror stories of men being “cleaned out” and now destitute while the ex-wife lives it up on her former spouse’s paycheck.

The reality is that the myth was probably based on norms from the 1950’s and 1960’s when men were the breadwinners and women were stay at home moms – thereby creating a very unbalanced earning capacity between the two, which naturally would have caused the spousal support laws to swing in favor of the woman.

In this day and age the typical woman is no longer a stay-at-home mom and is out in the work force just like her male counterpart.

So what does this mean in a Divorce?

In a lot of cases, the norms of the 1950’s and 60’s are no longer applicable and the basic laws regarding spousal support are applied to both parties. Depending on who made more money during the marriage and continues to make more money, regardless of whether the breadwinner is male or female, that party can be on the hook for spousal support – Yes, men can get spousal support too.

The bottom line on spousal support is that “men don’t always pay” – the door swings both ways and it all boils down to money and who makes more of it. If both parties make about the same income, nobody will owe anybody anything, if there’s a disparity someone may owe spousal support but unlike child support, spousal support can be waived by the parties as well.

Of course every case is driven by it’s own specific facts and having an experienced Family Law attorney on your side if essential to any divorce or spousal support situation - if you or a loved one is in need of legal advice concerning a dissolution of marriage or spousal support, contact Barrell & Janke Law at (916) 514-5224 for a FREE consultation.

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