Alimony traditionally involves a man paying his ex-wife. However, times have changed. With so many women in the workforce and making more money than their husbands, there is an increasing trend of women paying alimony in MA divorces. Although not a legal term, this is commonly referred to as “manimony”. If you are a women facing divorce, here’s what you should know about Massachusetts alimony payments.
Factors That Determine Alimony Payments in MA
There are many factors considered when it comes to alimony. Two major factors are the difference in income between husband and wife and the length of the marriage. Why? First, a big income gap makes it evident that one spouse relied on the other for financial support. This is especially true if your husband was a stay-at-home dad and did not earn any income of his own. Secondly, the longer you are married, that income differential increases in importance. For instance, if your husband was out of the work force for an extended period of time, it will be more difficult for him to re-enter the workplace and earn significant income. Other factors considered in Massachusetts divorces are the age, health, earning potential, and contributions of each spouse to the family unit and standard of living.
Length of Alimony in Massachusetts Divorces
Some states have permanent alimony. Fortunately, Massachusetts is one of a few states that restricts alimony payments to a specific period of time. The goal is to allow the lower income-earning spouse time to improve earning potential either by gaining more experience or with additional education. The length of the marriage may come into play here too. Generally, for marriages lasting 5 years or less, women paying alimony is MA divorces is limited to half of the marriage timeframe. So, for a 3-year marriage, alimony would be ordered for no more than 1.5 years. The exceptions are for marriages lasting 20 years or more or a spouse who is disabled or retired. Permanent alimony may be awarded in these cases.
Alimony vs. Child Support
Alimony is technically different from child support, so one doesn’t necessarily preclude the other. However, there are cases where paying child support does affect any amounts that may be reasonable available to pay alimony. Additionally, it’s possible that you may retain custody of your children but still be responsible for paying your ex-husband alimony.
More on Women Paying ALimony in MA Divorces
With the increase in stay-at-home dads and women out-earning men in the workforce, we are likely to see more and more women paying alimony in MA divorces. Given the stakes, it is important to obtain legal representation when going through a divorce, especially when child support and alimony are concerned. For a free consultation on your divorce, give our team a call today at (781) 531-8673.