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Wives may have to pay alimony

Texas couples have a colorful history of seeking alimony in divorce actions, but one trend has held true in the past: alimony was almost always awarded to the wife rather than the husband. However, changing social realities have led more courts to grant alimony to husbands in divorce actions when they earn significantly less than the wife. About 40 percent of working married women are now outearning their husbands, making this issue one that many women could face in coming years.

The issue with male alimony is not entirely new, but it has taken the spotlight lately as more women move up in the business world and take positions of responsibility. With these more responsible positions often come higher paychecks. Furthermore, many more men are putting their own careers on hold to help raise children, maintain the household and perform other duties once the sole sphere of the wife.

In the past, wives were almost always the stay-at-home partner in a marriage and needed alimony payments after a divorce in order to survive. However, today's reality is that both partners usually work. Some women's advocacy groups argue against male alimony but others feel that it is a consequence of the "degendering" of divorce and society overall.

Partners who are facing a divorce action may consult a family law attorney for advice about property division. Property division questions are very important, especially if the couple must provide for children or for retirement for both of the spouses. Questions may also arise in any divorce action of child custody and child support. If couples cannot agree on terms acceptable to both, they may face a court action to settle the issues surrounding the divorce.

Source:, "The De-Gendering of Divorce: Wives Pay Ex-Husbands Alimony Too", Liza Mundy, May 16, 2013

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