Though many people still live by traditional gender roles, it is becoming more common for people to decide how household duties, income-earning and child-rearing should occur on a more individual basis rather than on a traditional basis. As a result, you may have been a stay-at-home dad while your wife earned the household income, or you may have had a lesser-paying job than your wife. Whatever the case, your marriage held less traditional views on the role you each played.
Now that you and your spouse are getting a divorce, you may worry whether that non-traditional view will follow you into the courtroom. After all, because you earned less than your spouse, you may need alimony in the years following the divorce in order to get back on your feet.
Do men receive alimony?
Fortunately, it is becoming more common for men to receive alimony awards as part of their divorce decree. You and your soon-to-be ex-spouse may even be able to come up with alimony terms together and simply have them approved by the court. This could save time and effort if you can both work amicably to come to an agreeable outcome.
Of course, if you and your spouse cannot come to terms on you receiving alimony or on how much, the court may have to decide. Unfortunately, the risk does exist that some judges could continue to hold traditional gender biases, and as a result, you may have to work to present your need for spousal support to the court. Still, that does not mean that you will have to walk away with nothing or have to pay support to your wife simply because you are a man.
On an upward trend
Reports indicate that, in 2010, only 3% of alimony recipients were men. However, in more recent years, 45% of 1,600 attorneys who participated in a survey regarding spousal support indicated that they saw an increase in the number of women paying alimony to men. As a result, you may have hope of receiving the support you need to stay afloat after your divorce.
You will undoubtedly want to find out how New Jersey state laws could affect your chances of receiving alimony and the steps you may need to take to present your case to the court. Luckily, you do not have to navigate these waters alone, and an experienced family law attorney can help you understand your legal rights and options.