Will You Have to Pay Alimony to Your Ex-Husband?

ExLadies, we have been making some serious progress when it comes to income over the last few decades, but with great paychecks come great responsibilities! If you are a high earning woman considering divorce, don’t be surprised if your soon-to-be ex asks for alimony.

Many of today’s women are Leaning In like champs, climbing the corporate ladder, and bringing home big paychecks. A Pew Research study conducted in 2013 found that women are the leading or solo breadwinners in 40 percent of households.  Additionally, the times are ‘a changing. Another Pew Research study found that  up to 2 million men in 2012 were stay-at-home dads, raising their children while their wives worked. While alimony has historically been a benefit provided to women after a divorce, that concept is changing! Lynne Gold-Bikin, a family law attorney at WolfBlock LLP was quoted in Divorce 360 as saying, “When I started practicing 30 years ago, I didn’t see it at all. Zero. And now I see it in about 10 percent of my cases – female clients having to pay their ex-husbands support.”

There’s even a nickname for it – “manimony.” Will you have to pay up when you divorce your husband?

Income Inequality

Alimony laws are different in every state, but judges typically award alimony based on the prevailing laws in their state, and  gender shouldn’t make a difference in the award. Alimony is awarded on a number of factors including the length of a couple’s marriage and the income disparity between the ex-spouses. In other words, the longer you were married and the more income you make than your spouse, the more likely it may be that you will be writing checks each month.

The idea of paying manimony may be frustrating to women, but the entire purpose of alimony is to help the lower income spouse get back on his or her feet. If your husband was a stay-at-home dad, he may need to go back to school to brush up on job skills, or it could take many months before he finds employment.

Take heart in the knowledge that most alimony awards only last a certain amount of time and cease if your spouse remarries. Also, if you lose your job or take a big pay cut, you can petition the court to lower or eliminate your alimony payments.

The Price of Being Stronger and In Charge

Yes, paying alimony to your ex-husband can be frustrating, but there is a silver lining here. The fact that you may be required to pay alimony at all suggests that you are in a strong financial position. Unlike many women who must adapt to a much more financially restricted lifestyle after a divorce, you may actually find that you are better off on your own. Or at least you won’t see your quality of living drop drastically. In a best case scenario, your alimony payments will give your ex the support he needs while he sets out on his separate path toward full employment and self-sufficiency.

Do you have more questions about divorce, like whether or not you should keep the house? Take a look at our divorce archive of articles for answers!

Comments

  1. Sir , I am Chandrika I given divorce to my husband . But am studied intermediate only I didn’t have any job I have a son 20 Months old I can’t understand that what I do next please give me suggestion sir

  2. My husband hasn’t worked for almost 3 years, but not for any real reason. He is an educated, able-bodied professional who could be working right now. At present, I do make more money because he has no income. Will I have to pay alimony? I live in California.

    • Talk to an attorney about steps you can take to have his earning capacity evaluated, to establish how much he could earn if he chose to work.

      • Am a man and my wife makes double what I make, we have been married for less than 10yrs, if we divorce and am working will she have to pay me?

      • I have separated from my husband two months shy of 10 years (live in CA), I have worked full time my whole life he has a drinking problem but has the capacity to earn a good living and just became lazy because I took care of everything. He’s now threatening to sue me for alimony because he’s too lazy to work. I don’t make a whole lot of money to begin with. Can he win?

        • Whether he can get a judgment for alimony depends on all the facts and circumstances of the case. If he can show that he is disabled and unable to work, or that jobs do not exist that he could fill, he might be able to.

    • Yes..my dovorce is final tuesday and i have to pay big money to a lazy ass who didnt work for 5 yrs. I live in wisconson snd mo fault state. He was an abusive ass and i have to pay support to him..not fair..im having hard tome comimg to terms with that..

      • That’s really bad, I won’t let accept any support from my wife even though she actually makes way more money that I make.

        • Why wouldn’t you receive support? Do you think she wouldn’t take it from you? Equality goes both ways, women can’t cherry pick the parts of equality that work in their favor and demand the others to not apply. If you need the support to get back on your feet without taking on hardship you should take. There is no shame in it, you shouldn’t feel any less because equality means equal treatment to both parties. Your entitled to all the rights any other woman is, your gender shouldn’t remove this equal treatment.

  3. I was taken by surprise when the alimony request came up during the divorce process. I had married an older wealthier man (retired) who was already delving into his 401K (he had no pensions, but had substantial savings and the 401K draw down was mandated because of his age). I was making more than his 401K draw but my own 401K and savings were at least half of his. Although I was already on Medicare at the time, I was putting off retiring until the divorce was finalized.

  4. Phyllis Rose says:

    Hello,
    I’m paying my ex, alimony and child support. We agreed to a 50/50 split of my income, he is a stay at home dad. Now that we have filed our taxes separately. I paid him 50% of net income each paycheck for the whole 2015 year. He says we just take his tax due and my tax refund, add them up and divide by 2 to get to a 50/50 split of my gross income for the year. Any help with the formula I should be using to help me figure out the amount I owe him to get to a 50/50 split of gross income. It seams to me there should be more to it.
    Thank you

    • You’ll need to look at your divorce settlement agreement to see what it says about how to divide refunds and taxes due. If it is silent, then whatever the two of you decide is what you should do. If the goal is for each of you to end up with half of the total funds available, then his solution sounds like it would work.

  5. About divorce: I want to keep my house for my son after I divorce until my son will get 18 years old. I paid off the house already, no more mortgage. I wonder the court agrees or not. Please let me know, If someone knows about the divorce law. Thanks

    • You’ll need to consult with an attorney knowledgeable about the divorce law in your state. It will depend on what your husband is willing to do, and what the law provides.

    • Depends on what your husband also wants. A fair settlement would be to keep the home for the son, once the son moves out you sell the property and split the proceeds.

  6. About divorce: I want to keep our dhouse for my son after I divorce until my son will get 18 years old. My husband and I own this house. I paid off the house already, no more mortgage. I wonder the court agrees or not. Please let me know, If someone knows about the divorce law. Thanks

  7. Jennifer says:

    What about a husband who works and makes enough to support himself but still makes about 30% of what I do. Would I still have to pay alimony if I assumed all responsibility for our debts and support of our children?

  8. What if I’m disabled and unable to work since 1989 and have been totally dependent on husband for both financial and physical care? Would I be awarded more in a no-fault state? I would need to pay for some of the services he currently does for me or I could not make it on my own. So I feel trapped.

  9. contina white says:

    hello my husband is always in and out of prison and now we are starting the divorce he wants alimony for three years of our marriage he has been in prison the state has paid for him to live so how could they want me to pay him alimony to what life styles

  10. I got stuck paying 1/4 of my take home pay as manimony for the past 3 years. My narcissistic ex-husband claimed that he was a stay at home dad but in reality he felt no need to build a career since he could sit back and let me be the bread winner. He didn’t have a job for the last 20 years of our marriage. I had the mindset that it wasn’t so bad because he didn’t cheat on me or hit me. Some awful things happened that brought me to my breaking point and I filed for divorce after 30 years of being married. The manimony has been extremely tough for me. At times I’ve had to buy food or pay my utilities with credit cards. I have had to shop at thrift stores and lose some of the luxuries like my smart phone but with God’s help I survived and just made my last payment. My advice to young married women is don’t accept anything less than what you deserve! You deserve to be treasured! Don’t be forced to be the man and the women in your relationship. I learned my lesson the hard way but at the end of the day it’s the BEST MONEY I’VE EVER SPENT.

  11. My wife has decided to separate and leave me will all of the household bills (1st & 2nd Mortgage, credit cards, etc.).

    We have been married for 6 years (no children together) and I have been out of work for 4 years, (We have a small carpet cleaning business that I’ve been trying to build for 4 years but the customer base is not large enough yet to sustain me).

    My wife has supported this household for the entire time including all of the bills, food, vacations, etc.. Her income is $137,000 compared to my $0.00.

    I am 57 years old and would like to know if spousal support is a possibility.

    Thank you

    • Talk to an attorney to see what the laws of your state provide for. Each state is different. It may be that you would be imputed with an ability to earn based on your skill level, which could reduce or eliminate any support that is due you.

  12. I have been married almost 20 years and have always worked full time. My spouse has also worked the entire time. However, in the past 3 years my income has surpassed his, by 20K. We have 3 children and they are on my medical benefits. Will I have to pay him alimony? We live in Utah.

  13. Looking for Answers says:

    I am moving to divorce my husband. We have been separated for almost 2 years and married for 5 years. I make more than him but i also have the children. Would i have to pay alimony?

  14. I Pay 4 Figure Alimony says:

    Watch out for CO. I divorced my ex after he secretly spent our joint savings and refused to take paying work or contribute financially to our mortgage and bills.

    Had to divorce him because he stole and wouldn’t work, and guess what?

    I pay four figure alimony.

  15. Desmond wilson says:

    I been married for 2 years we got married in texas but moved to memphis i havent worked in almost a year if we get a legal separation who would have to pay

  16. Hi. I’be married a guy for 4yrs. Within a month of our marriage he left his job and he completely fit and talented, yet, till now he is at home.we are getting divorced now, will I have to pay him alimony

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