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Alimony Rights for Men: A Changing Outlook

Father winning alimony

Family law often grants a woman alimony payments when she has been married to her husband for a long duration. The duration, not set in stone, plays a major factor in the decision to grant alimony because one spouse often earns less or doesn’t pursue a career because they opt to raise the children.

Alimony also allows the lower-earning spouse to maintain a lifestyle equivalent to the way the person lived when married.

Father winning alimonyThe general rule of thumb is that the higher earning spouse is often required to pay alimony. So, men do have a right to seek alimony from their ex wives if they are the breadwinners in the family. Stay-at-home dads are on the rise, too, and this means the man gave up his career to raise his children.

Times are changing.

Men and women often both work in today’s society, changing from the times when men were the breadwinners of the family. Men do have rights when it comes to alimony, including:

The Right to Receive Alimony

Men can request alimony payments from their ex-wives. While many don’t seek alimony payments from their ex wives or husbands, they can request them. The court will decide if the man deserves alimony payments.

The Right to Reduce Alimony Payments

You can request alimony payment reductions, but it’s ultimately up to the court to decide the fate of your payments. The circumstances which allow for the highest probability of reduced payments include:

  • Sudden reduction in income
  • Illness or disability that affects your ability to work
  • Your ex living with a romantic partner as a couple

Unemployment must be sudden and involuntary for it to be considered a reason for reducing or completely eliminating alimony.

The Right to End Alimony

Alimony payments were, at one time, forever. Men often paid their ex wives alimony until one of the two died. The alimony payer didn’t even have a right to retire if he wasn’t able to meet his alimony payment obligations.

Reforms have swept the country to help higher income earners break free from lifelong alimony payments.

New Jersey signed major alimony reforms in 2014 that help make alimony more sustainable. A few of the reform measures that are most important are:

  • Alimony cannot exceed the length of the marriage if the marriage lasted less than 20 years, unless exceptional circumstances are found by the judge.
  • Alimony payments end when a person reaches full retirement (67 years old).
  • If a payer has been out of work for 90 days, the judge can lower payments.

Laws around the country have helped alleviate many of the burdens of “permanent alimony.”

Sweeping legislation reforms across the country have helped exes turn into self-supporters and become less reliant on their former spouses to sustain their way of life. Alimony, depending on the state and circumstances, can account for a large portion of high-earners’ incomes, forcing them to lower their lifestyle while their exes are able to maintain their former lifestyle.

Men have a right to know their alimony rights and to work with a lawyer to ensure that alimony payments are fair, just and not a burden on their income for the remainder of their life.

The Micklin Law Group, LLC is a New Jersey law firm focusing on 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 experience working with securing alimony for men. You can read more on this topic by visiting our Alimony Blog. To set up a consultation, call 973-562-0100.

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