Is it True a Husband Always Has to Pay Alimony When They Get Divorced?

By Mary Jane Freeman

When couples divorce, one or both spouses may ask the court to award alimony, also known as spousal support and maintenance. The court looks at a variety of factors when determining whether alimony should be granted, in what amount and how long it should last. However, courts are prohibited from awarding alimony based on gender or excluding a spouse from receiving it for the same reason.

When couples divorce, one or both spouses may ask the court to award alimony, also known as spousal support and maintenance. The court looks at a variety of factors when determining whether alimony should be granted, in what amount and how long it should last. However, courts are prohibited from awarding alimony based on gender or excluding a spouse from receiving it for the same reason.

Gender-Based Alimony is a Myth

When spouses divorce, alimony is sometimes awarded to one spouse. In the past, alimony was typically reserved for wives. This was because the traditional family structure consisted of the wife staying home to care for the household while the husband worked and paid the bills. However, this began to change in the 1970s, and alimony law was made gender-neutral in all states. As a result, courts can no longer take a spouse's gender into consideration when awarding alimony. So, either spouse may be required to pay it.

Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More

Alimony Factors

Even though gender is not considered, state courts evaluate other factors when making alimony decisions, some of which are codified in state laws. Common factors include the duration of the marriage, standard of living established during the marriage, age of spouses and their emotional and physical health, contributions each spouse made to the marriage including income, education and employability of each spouse, and whether one spouse serves as a child's primary caretaker. In many states, alimony may be temporary during the divorce proceedings, short-term to help a spouse adjust to single life, long-term or permanent.

Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More
Will He Still Have to Pay Alimony With a No Fault Divorce in Pennsylvania?

References

Resources

Related articles

Wife's Rights to the Husband's Lump Sums With a Divorce in Florida

When spouses decide to divorce, they often must consider much more than simply ending the marriage and living separate lives. There are issues like property and debt division, alimony, child support and custody to contend with. Although each case is different, alimony is often an issue of great importance to divorcing spouses. If you live in Florida, several types of alimony are available, including lump sum alimony. However, which type your husband will be ordered to pay, if any, will depend on the circumstances of your case.

In Georgia, What Determines Alimony?

Alimony in Georgia is also referred to as spousal support. Georgia courts do not automatically award spousal support -- even in the case of a long-term marriage. Instead, a Georgia court considers several factors to determine whether or not to award alimony, as well as the type and amount of alimony that is appropriate.

Spendthrift Grounds for Divorce in North Carolina

North Carolina does not take marital fault into account when granting a divorce, but it does consider wrongdoing by a spouse when awarding alimony. When you request support payments in a divorce proceeding in the state, you have several fault grounds from which to choose. One of them is reckless spending. In North Carolina, the law considers a spouse who spends money profusely and imprudently to be a spendthrift. If your spouse's spending habits resulted in the destruction or waste of marital assets, you may be entitled to alimony under state law.

Get Divorced Online

Related articles

Alimony Laws in Tennessee

Alimony is a monetary award paid to the financially weaker spouse after a divorce. Tennessee courts can award one of ...

How to Calculate Alimony in New Hampshire

The marriage relationship is supportive in nature. For that reason, courts in New Hampshire are sensitive to the needs ...

Wyoming Laws on Alimony

Alimony, or spousal support, is money paid by a party to a former spouse. Wyoming, like all states, has a specific set ...

Divorce Laws on Alimony in the State of Maine

If your marriage ends, you may ask the court for alimony, or spousal support, as part of your Maine divorce decree, but ...

Browse by category