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Even when ex-husbands are entitled to alimony, few receive it

The latest Census figures show that an estimated 400,000 U.S. citizens receive spousal support. Of that number, approximately 3 percent are men. However, the Census also reports that 40 percent of households list women as the primary wage earners. That would imply that many ex-husbands should qualify for alimony payments that they are not receiving. Chances are there are men residing in Ohio who could be eligible for spousal support.

While there may be several reasons why former husbands are not getting payments from their wealthier former wives, the chief reason would appear to be based on gender stereotypes. Men frequently view monetary support from women as emasculating. Even when a divorce has left them in questionable financial circumstances, men often choose to rely on their own earning capacity rather than take support from their former wives. Additionally, just as some women also refuse these payments, men may see spousal support as a connection to their former spouse that they no longer desire.

This reluctance to be seen as less than masculine can be detected in courtrooms in different geographical areas as well. While some states are more progressive in the way the roles of the sexes are perceived and more inclined to order support for a lower-earning husband, judges in other states are more apt to dismiss the notion of ordering a woman to pay alimony. In fact, in one case, the former wife held a high salaried position in finance while the soon-to-be ex-husband had little to no resources. The judge ordered six months of support.

In the past, men seemed resigned to being ordered to pay alimony to their exes -- often for life. However, women are more apt to fight against paying any support to a former husband. In modern society, though, women are frequently earning more than their spouses while fathers are choosing to take more interest in raising children. In light of this fact, Ohio husbands might benefit from pursuing spousal support in the event of a divorce, especially if they are taking an active role in child care. There are experienced professionals who can provide information concerning alimony during the divorce proceedings.

Source: Forbes, "Why Do So Few Men Get Alimony?", Emma Johnson, Nov. 20, 2014

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