Perhaps it is time to forget the “I am a man and can take care of myself” attitude. Did you know that under Ohio law, the factors for alimony or spousal support are gender blind? Up until the 1980’s there were few men who received spousal support from their wives, but times and attitudes are slowly changing. As more men are granted custody of their children or become stay at home dads, the need for women to pay both child and spousal support has increased. But interestingly, statistics show that “thirty-three percent of higher-earning spouses are women, but fewer than four percent of alimony payers are women”, according to a CNN article on Manimony (a slang term for alimony paid to men). In today’s society many men still refuse to request spousal support even if their spouse earns much more money than they do. So it seems that the inequality in spousal support awards may have more to do with male machismo than any legal bias.
In her blog, Attorney Marie Fahnert, the author of the Chicago Divorce Lawyer had a very insightful perspective on the topic. She believes that “women will never achieve full equality until men stop being stigmatized for earning less that their wives. Simply speaking- if alimony rates for men stay as they are- a married man will never have the same incentive as a women to invest in his spouse’s career.”
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Robert L. Mues
Robert Mues is the managing partner of Dayton, Ohio, law firm, Holzfaster, Cecil, McKnight & Mues, and has received the highest rating from the Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review for Ethical Standards and Legal Ability. Mr. Mues is also a founding member of the "International Academy of Attorneys for Divorce over 50" blog.