NEW YORK (CBS 2) — Call it a “reversal of fortune.” More and more women are now paying alimony and child support to their ex-husbands.
“It’s called ‘manimony,’ when a woman has to pay alimony,” financial divorce advisor Jeff Landers recently told CBS 2’s Dana Tyler.
And it’s not just for the rich and famous. Any woman can be forced to pay this type of spousal support.
“Women today are naturally more dominant in the workforce than they’ve ever been and their traditional role of stay-at-home mother has evolved,” divorce attorney Bari Weinberger said.
Women are now the top earners in one-third of all marriages. And when those marriages fail — as 50 percent of them reportedly do — women now have a greater responsibility to pay not only alimony but also child support.
“We want to be deemed as equals in the business arena. We want to be deemed equals in the general workforce and we, hence, are being treated as equals in the legal realm as well,” Weinberger said.
It’s something one woman, who didn’t want to be identified and embarrass her children, said she knows all too well.
“I pay him child support, the full amount for three teenagers, and I pay him alimony, which is required of me until our youngest child graduates from high school, which will be several more years,” the woman said.
The former sales representative said she is angry, adding she shouldn’t have to pay her able-bodied ex. And she said she feels this way not because she’s a woman.
“That’s why I got out of the marriage to begin with, his inability to provide for the family, and yet I always worked and I don’t understand why I’m paying him a monthly fee for nothing,” the woman said.
Weinberger said many of her female clients are resistant to paying manimony, and — believe it or not — some men are embarrassed to receive it.
When asked on the street what they think of the idea, people tried to explain the mindset.
“Men are providers so to collect alimony is almost kind of counter to that,” one person said.
“It depends on the circumstances,” another added.
But the law is clear, and manimony payments are based on the same criteria as alimony payments.
“They’ll look at the disparity in income, length of marriage, potential for future income,” Landers said.
The woman CBS 2 spoke to earlier said it’s the price of being successful, but she doesn’t have to like it.
“I don’t think it’s fair but I’ve accepted it. I’m not a person that would begrudge him and I’m not a vindictive person,” she said.
Although it’s a growing trend, only 4 percent of alimony payers are women. One way out of paying any spousal support is to have a prenuptial agreement.
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