Men Should Receive Equal Right to Spousal Support, Says Family Law Attorney Lisa McDevitt

Law Firm Newswire



Fairfax, VA (Law Firm Newswire) February 4, 2016 – While spousal support has traditionally been granted to women, men who seek alimony have not been as successful in obtaining such financial support from their ex-wives.

Consider the following scenarios. A separation occurs between spouses in which the wife earns considerably more than her husband. Because of her greater income, she will be able to enjoy a higher standard of living following the divorce than he will. He may argue that he is entitled to spousal support. In another case, the wife is the breadwinner of the family while the husband is well-educated, and was previously a corporate executive who left his job in order to remain at home with the children. Upon separating, he claims he would like to receive spousal support.

While only three percent of those who receive alimony are men, 40 percent of households in the U.S. are financially supported by women. During the last 20 years, men have made much progress in obtaining the right to share custody of their children, but they have been less successful concerning the issue of support. According to Emma Johnson, a personal finance columnist for Forbes magazine, decisions regarding support are continually made with respect to gender roles.

“Spousal support is considered in cases where one spouse gave up the opportunity to improve his or her education or compete for a more lucrative position in order to stay at home with the children,” said prominent Vienna, Virginia, family law attorney Lisa McDevitt.

Although there is much attention focused on a woman’s right to the same compensation as men, there are no lobbying organizations that are attempting to cease the discriminatory action of paying alimony to women and not to men. Johnson is in favor of putting an end to alimony because that would compel each individual to be financially accountable for him- or herself, and would demand that women become financially literate. She contends that in economic downturns, including the one from 2007 to 2009, men were laid off from twice as many positions as women.

Moreover, she argues that without alimony, each spouse would be able to move on with their lives. Being supported by an ex-spouse only causes the recipient of spousal support to continue to be emotionally involved in a marriage that has ended.

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