It used to be that husbands always out-earned their wives. Many times, these husbands went to work while the wives stayed home, raised the children and ran the household. Due to this arrangement, when there was a divorce, it was the man who would be paying his ex-wife alimony. The idea was that this money was due to the fact that the woman had sacrificed her own earning potential to maximize that of her husband’s.
However, looking at marriage and divorce today, much has changed with one of the largest differences being who is the breadwinner in the house. While it used to be the man, now there are plenty of family situations where the woman is out-earning her husband. In some cases, this means the wife might be the one working, while husband stays home with the children. In other cases, it is that the husband’s earnings are supplemental to his wife’s.
In terms of divorce, what this shift in earning means is that it is not unheard of for a woman to be paying her ex-husband alimony. In fact, as more women become breadwinners, this is a trend that is growing.
From a logistical standpoint, one would say this trend makes sense. Since woman used to be the ones typically receiving alimony due to staying home with children, shouldn’t the same scenario hold true for men?
In many Missouri divorces, spousal support can be a major point of contention. Those who stayed home with the children, essentially putting their own careers on hold, may feel their ex-spouse should be paying them alimony each month. This is why in cases where it was the father who stayed home to take care of his family, the husband should feel no quams about pushing for spousal support.
Keep in mind that an attorney with experience handling spousal support in Missouri can advocate for either side — those fathers wanting to receive it and those trying to negotiate their spousal support payments.
Source: Time, “The De-Gendering of Divorce: Wives Pay Ex-Husbands Alimony Too,” Liza Mundy, April 16, 2013.