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What is alimony role reversal?

Alimony, also called spousal support in Illinois, is where you are ordered to pay financial support to your ex-spouse as part of your divorce settlement. Traditionally, wives received the alimony and husbands paid it. However, as you are probably already aware, times have changed; women have entered the workforce in growing numbers and in many cases are making more money than their spouse. If you are in the process of getting a divorce and your wife is the primary breadwinner, you should know that more and more judges are awarding alimony to husbands. This is what is called alimony role reversal.

According to Reuters, the number of men seeking spousal support has been on the rise in recent years. The Supreme Court ruled in a 1979 case that a decision on awarding alimony shouldn’t use gender as a factor, but it is only recently that the courts seem to be paying attention. In 2012, alimony was noticeably being paid by more women, according to 47 percent of 1,600 attorneys throughout the country who were surveyed. Two years prior, it was reported that just three percent of alimony recipients were men. This growing shift appears to influenced by the fact that traditional family roles are changing. For example, you may be a stay-at-home dad who runs the household so that your wife can pursue a career.

Alimony is rewarded largely based upon income and the standard of living during the marriage. In your case, if you earn less than your wife, then it would be standard for the court to award you spousal support. However, if you earn more or your wife stays at home, then she would probably be granted the alimony.

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