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Is 'manimony' changing the traditional view of spousal support?

Posted by Thomas Pettinicchi of D'Amico & Pettinicchi, LLC on Oct 04, 2012 in Alimony

Marriages and divorces can both be full of traditional events and behaviors in Connecticut and across the country. However, with the changing economy, workforce and ideals associated with marriage, many of these so-called traditional roles and processes are being challenged. What may have been a generally accepted practice 10 or even five years ago may no longer be the standard in today's modern relationships.

Take, for example, alimony payments. Alimony, or spousal maintenance, was traditionally thought of as a man's responsibility in the event that a couple gets divorced. Until recently, men were commonly the breadwinners in a household, so when a couple got divorced, the husband may have been required to make spousal support payments to avoid financial imbalance between divorced spouses. Now, however, trends suggest that women are paying alimony to men more often.

There may be many reasons for the shift in financial responsibility. For instance, women are working more and occupying many more high-powered positions than in previous years. With this increased earning potential may come a shift in spousal roles. Therefore, if a couple divorces, it may be up to the wife to make alimony payments to her ex-husband. The trend of wives paying alimony is being called "manimony" in many regions.

However, despite the shift in traditional roles, some things stay the same. Many women, just like many men, object to having to make these temporary or permanent payments. This dispute over financial responsibility can turn into a bitter battle between divorcing couples. While some couples can agree to compromise or cooperate to come to a mutually agreeable settlement, others cannot resolve the issue outside of a courtroom.

While traditional expectations and roles may be shifting in regards to marriage and divorce, some things, such as the purpose and importance of these alimony payments, remain the same.

Source: WABC-TV, "More women paying alimony to ex-husbands," Darla Miles, Sept. 25, 2012

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