Just like marriage and divorce trends, alimony, or spousal support, is changing. Today, alimony issues are more complex than ever before. In 40% of households, women are the breadwinners.
With more women in the workforce and men sacrificing their careers to raise the children, alimony trends are continually changing.
1. More Men are Seeking Alimony
As more women become the breadwinners in the household, more men are seeking alimony. Reuters reported in 2013 that lawyers are seeing a spike in the number of men requesting alimony.
While more men are asking for alimony, they still represent a very small percentage of people receiving support payments from their exes. Data from the 2010 Census indicates that only 3% of the 400,000 people receiving alimony are men.
Although men are within their rights to request alimony if their ex-wife earns more, men often allow their pride to get in the way. Lawyers often say it can take quite a bit of convincing to get men to agree to petition for support payments.
2. “Permanent Alimony” is Disappearing
Some states are still clinging to the status quo, but most others have eliminated “permanent alimony.” Prior to alimony reforms, some ex-spouses were required to make alimony payments indefinitely. This was typically only awarded in cases where the couple had been married at least a decade and one partner gave up his or her career to raise the children.
“Gone are the days you need to worry about what was referred to as “permanent” alimony – court-ordered payments that could last for years and years,” explains Micklin Law Group on their website. “In fact, if you have been married less than 20 years, your alimony payments should not exceed the number of years you have been married.”
3. Alimony is Becoming Easier to Modify
Changes to local laws and divorce trends have also made it easier to modify alimony agreements. Support-paying spouses can have their agreements modified or eliminated if:
- They lose their job
- Their income changes
- They become disabled or ill
In many states, the paying spouse has to be out of work for at least three months in order to modify an alimony agreement.
Alimony reform, as they call it, will continue in the years to come. Many states are moving in one direction or another: limiting or broadening alimony awards. Only a handful of states have stuck with the status quo and have no plans to change their direction anytime soon.
The Micklin Law Group, LLC is a New Jersey law firm specializing in men’s rights during a divorce. Attorney Brad Micklin was recently named to The National Advocates list of Top 100 attorneys from each state. Brad has a special expertise in working with securing alimony for men. You can read more on this topic by visiting our Alimony Blog. To set up a free consultation, call 973-562-0100.