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Why Do So Few Men Receive Alimony?

men alimony

Analysis from the Pew Research Center tells us that a record 40% of all U.S. households with children under 18 have mothers who are the sole or primary source of income. In 1960, the share was 11%.

So why are men so reluctant to ask for alimony during divorce?

How Many Men Currently Receive Alimony?

Figures from the U.S. Census Bureau reveal that only 3% of divorced men receive alimony. To put that in real numbers, there were 13,000 men who received alimony in 2010. They were outnumbered by the more than 380,000 women who were alimony recipients.

During an interview with ABC News, an ex-wife expressed her anger over having to pay alimony to her former husband. “It’s so obscene. He went for the jugular, believe me,” the real estate agent said.

Why Do So Few Men Pursue Alimony?

The Uniform Marriage and Divorce Act of 1970 paved the way for men to be able to seek alimony payments.

One obvious reason for so many men is in the past is that the thought of a man asking for alimony went against traditionally defined roles in the American culture.

Speaking with Forbes Magazine, one divorced man said that his lawyer made a strong push to ask for spousal support since he had given up his public school teaching career to stay home with his two children while his wife worked her $100,000 per year job.

Instead, the man opted to scrounge together a host of adjunct teaching jobs and freelance writing assignments to maintain his post-divorce diet of potato chips and canned soup. Extra money was given in the form of allowances from his parents.

“I’d love to have had that money, but I’d never hit a girl or beg from a girl – and I see alimony as begging,” he said.

What is the Purpose of Alimony?

Despite how it may be perceived, alimony is not supposed to be used as a weapon of revenge on your ex-spouse for years to come. Rather, it is meant to correct imbalances among couples once they split.

The amount of alimony is based upon a number of things, including:

  • Earning potential
  • Contributions to the marriage (whether one spouse quit their job to raise the children, for example)
  • Length of the marriage (there’s a higher likelihood of lengthier alimony payments for longer marriages)

Have Questions About Alimony? Call The Men’s Legal Center

Because we believe that equality should be a two-way street, The Men’s Legal Center is committed to ensuring that men are not handicapped after a divorce simply because of societal norms that have long since passed.

If you’re a man facing divorce or are thinking about it, get in touch with us here at The Men’s Legal Center.

Our number is 619-234-3838 or you can reach us via email.