The De-Gendering of Divorce: Wives Pay Ex-Husbands Alimony Too

Reasonable this sounds.

Ideas

Not long ago, after giving a talk about the growing number of women who are breadwinners in their marriages, I was approached by an audience member who identified herself as a lawyer. She said that she was definitely seeing this trend in her practice — nearly 40% of working wives now outearn their husbands — and that while economic power is a good thing, overall, for women, it can have one negative outcome many don’t anticipate. Among her divorce clients, she said, more and more were women who found themselves ordered by a court to pay spousal support to ex-husbands. “And boy,” she said, “are they pissed.”

(MORE:The End of Alimony: How American Divorces Are Changing)

That these women are angry is to be expected: men don’t like paying alimony either, and writing a check every month has long been, for men, one of the prime impediments to…

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