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Why do so few men receive alimony?

On Behalf of | Nov 19, 2021 | Divorce |

In 1979, the Supreme Court ruled that spousal support should be gender-neutral. In other words, men are just as eligible to collect from their former spouses as women are. But in Virginia, as in other parts of the country, that rarely happens, and when it does, many in society look upon it as shocking. For instance, when singer Kelly Clarkson was ordered to pay her former husband, Brandon Blackstock, $150,000 a month in alimony, the world gasped.

Preconceived gender notions

A Harvard sociology professor contends that society has always looked upon men as being the primary breadwinners in their families, even though in today’s reality some women earn more than their spouses. Yet even so, more women than men apply to get alimony. Other professionals suggest that, even though alimony is legally genderless, some judges often investigate men more firmly than women during the requests for support.

Men are sometimes awarded less

It has been shown that, when men are awarded alimony, it’s for a shorter duration with less money since some judges expect men to get back to work quicker than women. Whether it’s a man or a woman receiving alimony, the premise is for the recipient to ultimately find gainful employment. If a man is a stay-at-home parent while his spouse is the formal breadwinner, he has the right to seek alimony in a divorce situation.

Pride can also be an issue for men when it comes to receiving alimony from a former spouse. If this is the case, there are other ways to seek support, such as leveling assets and equity in other ways — like accepting a one-time payout. Virginia residents who have questions regarding the divorce process, and alimony specially, could find the advice of an attorney experienced in family law invaluable.