If you are an Illinois woman contemplating divorce, you may have heard that alimony is not what it used to be. Traditionally, husbands paid alimony to their ex-wives because the income disparity between them was so great. Today, however, many women earn as much as, if not more than, their husbands. If you are one of them, you should know that it is not uncommon for divorce judges to award alimony to both men and women. That is why these payments now go by the name of spousal support instead of alimony.
Highly-paid women in the workforce are no longer the rare exception they once were. It may surprise you to learn that even five years ago, women were the leading or only family breadwinner in 40 percent of American households. The Women’s Institute for Financial Education reports that manimony is the new nickname for the maintenance payments that a woman pays to her ex-husband.
While manimony occurs in only about 20 percent of today’s divorces nationwide, judges consider the following factors when awarding it:
- Your income as opposed to your husband’s income
- Your earning potential as opposed to that of your husband
- Your husband’s need for more education and/or training to be able to earn a better living
- How long the two of you have been married
If you wind up having to pay manimony, however, take comfort in the fact that you will not have to do this for the rest of your life. The payments usually end if your ex-spouse remarries or at the point he completes the education or retraining the judge determined he needed, whichever occurs first. In addition, most judges limit any type of spousal support to a specified number of years, and these time periods generally are relatively short unless special circumstances apply. This is general information only and not intended to provide legal advice.