The paradox of alimony for males

“The law is gender neutral and written blindly, but that is not always the case,” said Mosberg on his own behalf. “Now more women are working in prestigious positions and more husbands are staying with the children, but men who receive support are still the exception rather than the rule.”

Judges often scrutinize men more closely during their application for assistance, reflecting the bias that believes men are, or should be, breadwinners, said Brendan Hammer, a Chicago-based attorney. “Judges can also ask for a work journal to prove the husband is trying to earn what he used to do or even a living wage,” he said.

Elizabeth Lindsey, president of the American Association of Matrimonial Lawyers, said in her experience that judges often give men less support for shorter periods of time while expecting them to return to the job market faster than women.

“There’s a growing trend away from long-term alimony,” she said, noting that in Georgia, where she currently serves as an attorney, courts can still provide lifelong assistance. “Overall, spousal support is designed to rehabilitate and retool the under-earning or unemployed spouse,” added Ms. Lindsey.

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Men who ended up in a dependent position say they were there for various reasons.

When Glenn Smith married in 2014, he was stepparent to two teenage boys. His wife, a tax attorney, is the couple’s high earner, and he soon gave up his career as an insurance salesman to take care of the boys, he said. The relationship broke up in 2020 and the divorce took place in early 2021. He receives $ 2,000 monthly spousal support for two and a half years.

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