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Will soon-to-be ex-husbands start requesting spousal maintenance?

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Alimony can be a touchy subject during a divorce, for a wide variety of reasons. Some might consider this legal obligation, also known as spousal maintenance, out of date. But with the country's changing demographics and economic circumstances, spousal support may become more important than ever for some couples.

There is no doubt that, traditionally, alimony has usually been paid by the ex-husband and received by the ex-wife. That was the case because, also traditionally, the male counterpart's income was usually higher than the wife's, if she had an income at all. Societal changes, however, are forcing many to reconsider the more commonly held notions about alimony.

According to a recent article, one the major problems with getting past the more traditional notions regarding alimony is that many divorcing men don't believe they can even ask for it - and therefore they don't. As noted in the article, some men may consider a request for alimony from the soon-to-be ex-wife "emasculating" or a sign of "weakness." However, there are those who would see this stigma stamped out, in order to see men as equally entitled to receive alimony, if it applies in a case.

So, should a man request alimony only in circumstances where his wife earns a higher salary? According to the article, the answer is no. Our readers who have heard the playful term "Honey-Do List" may be surprised to hear that advocates are pointing toward those manual, labor-heavy tasks as another reason to request alimony - their value in contributing to the marriage.

Hammering out an alimony agreement can be tough - there is no disputing that. But when men begin to assert the argument that it may be something they are entitled to - not just a payout - then changes may begin to take hold.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Why Don't More Men Ask For Alimony?," Joseph E. Cordell, June 26, 2013

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