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Traditional gender roles crumble as both spouses pay alimony now

Spokane residents who are going through a divorce understand that it can be an incredibly difficult time of your life. Not only do you have to adapt to a new way of life, but also many times you have to create a new lifestyle. Depending on the financial situation and asset division of a divorce, it may mean altering your lifestyle considerably. Divorce affects both men and women, and traditional notions of gender roles are going out the window.

Many attorneys recently have seen a growing trend of women who are the "breadwinners" in their marriages. It is estimated that nearly 40 percent of wives earn more than their husbands. As a result, more often courts are ordering wives to pay spousal support to their ex-husbands. Reportedly, many of the women ordered to pay spousal support are less than thrilled. Traditionally, it has been med who typically write a monthly check of alimony, but more and more courts are ordering women to pony up. Effectively, there is a growing trend of de-gendering divorce and alimony. Historically, alimony was recognized when a wife's role was to stay home as homemaker and raising children, and the husband worked. Times have changed, and consequentially, courts are adapting.

Legally speaking, spousal support is a payment typically made monthly from one spouse to another. The public policy behind the support is to make up for an unfair economic effect of a divorce on a party who may be financially vulnerable. Typically, the higher paid or well-off spouse will be ordered by a court to may monthly payments to a non-wage-earning spouse, or one who makes a lower wage.

Divorce can be financially difficult both emotionally and financially. If you are contemplating divorce, an attorney can help evaluate your case and determine your chances of being awarded alimony - regardless to your gender.

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

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