Law Office of Daniel E. Forrest, P.A.

Alimony isn't just for women. In the past, maybe that was true much of the time, but now, since 40 percent of all breadwinners are women, it seems right that more men should be in on the alimony side of divorce. Actually, only 3 percent of men who were married are receiving payments from their ex-wives. Hundreds of thousands of men are seemingly eligible for alimony but are not receiving it.

Experts say that the reason this is true is that die-hard gender roles take precedence even today. There is a bitter identity from macho-prideful males and tart breadwinning wives. Believe it or not, gender equality is still relatively new in the span of history. Old stereotypes are still around. Successful men are considered breadwinners and asking for alimony is emasculating to them.

For instance, there was a man who gave up his teaching job to be a stay-at-home parent to his two kids. His wife earned over $100,000 per year. When his wife filed for divorce, he had to get several part-time jobs to make a living. He even had to borrow money from his parents. His attorney suggested alimony, but he could allow himself to do this. He was too embarrassed.

If you are in this situation, whether you are a man or a woman, you need to look into what it means to be a stay-at-home spouse and what the state of Florida says your alimony amount should be. Just because you don't earn a wage doesn't mean you aren't a contributing partner in your marriage. Many times, the court will award a percentage of your soon-to-be ex-spouse's monthly income. The judge may give you alimony payments for a specified number of months in order to give you time to get on your feet. The court may even give you lifetime spousal support, although several lawmakers in Florida are trying to pass a bill to do away with lifetime alimony.

Discussing your situation with a knowledgeable and experienced attorney can make all the difference.

Source: Forbes, "Why Do So Few Men Get Alimony?," Emma Johnson, accessed Dec. 10, 2015

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