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How do men approach the issue of spousal maintenance?

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Like many other terms in our politically correct society, the term "alimony" is heard less often nowadays. Most people involved in the divorce process now refer to alimony as "spousal support" or "spousal maintenance." This may be because alimony is associated with an older time when the man in a divorce almost universally was the one who was ordered to pay alimony to his ex-wife. That has definitely changed in the last several years, and a recent article noted that alimony, among other factors, needs to be reconsidered by any man going through a divorce.

The article focused on the financial impact a divorce can have on a man's life, and alimony was one of the most important topics. Most of our Maryland readers probably know that alimony is a legal obligation that is paid from one ex-spouse to the other, usually with the intent to help that ex-spouse with living expenses when that spouse's income or earning potential is lower than the other spouse's income. But what they may not know is that in today's society the man in the relationship may be just as likely to receive alimony as pay it to his ex-wife.

The American workforce has gone through a dramatic change over the last couple of decades, with an increasing number of women pursuing careers. This, in turn, has led to the inevitable result that some women earn a better income than their husbands, and in some cases the woman is actually the main breadwinner in the home while the man works as a stay-at-home dad. Thus, when that type of couple decides to divorce, it may be the husband who deserves to be paid alimony instead of the wife.

The article noted that men should not be reluctant to pay alimony, because there may be favorable tax implications. However, the article also pointed out that men shouldn't be too proud to accept alimony either, because it should be remembered that this legal obligation is intended to be part of a fair split to the end of the marriage.

Source: The Week, "8 financial tips for men getting a divorce," Hayley Krischer, Sept. 30, 2013

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