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Shifting trend in spousal support: more ex-husbands collecting

"If you brought value into a relationship, you should be able to take that value out of it."

So says a divorced man who recently asked for -- and received -- spousal support following the breakup of his marriage. The man was the lower wage earner in the relationship and spent more time at home nurturing the kids while his wife pursued a challenging and lucrative career outside the home.

In Georgia and across the country, an alimony order these days that mandates payment from an ex-wife to her former husband is far from the eyebrow-raising event it was a generation ago. Many family law commentators note that, while such a judicial order was singularly rare not that many years ago, it has become much more commonplace these days.

“It wasn’t a big sticking point,” says the ex-husband and father quoted above.

Indeed, the tag of “anomaly” that some people might have attached to males receiving spousal support a generation ago seems to have largely disappeared. Although it is true that far more women continue to receive alimony than do male partners in a terminated marriage, the numbers are shifting, and appreciably so.

As evidence of that, a survey conducted last year by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers revealed that close to half of all the members in that organization were seeing an uptick in spousal support cases where women were the payers.

One commentator says that the rising trend is completely natural and based purely on economics. In progressively more marriages, women are pursuing careers while their husbands assume a central presence at home with the children and house-related duties.

She says that this “naturally leads to a shift in the proportion of husbands seeking support.”

Source: Financial Post, "More men getting alimony from their ex-wives," Geoff Williams, Jan. 4, 2014

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