More women being ordered to pay spousal support

On behalf of Lake Toback Attorneys

Married women in Illinois who are high income earners may be in for an unpleasant surprise should they decide to file for divorce. As greater numbers of women make more money than their spouses, they are also increasingly being required by courts to pay spousal support to their ex-husbands. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 40 percent of working wives are now the breadwinners in their home. However, while this is clearly a good thing, women are not nearly as happy about how larger earnings translate into spousal support in the case of a divorce.

For a long time, alimony and child support were assumed to be the responsibility of men. It was automatically believed that women would stay home and forgo careers in order to take care of their family. Alimony was used to help support women who would not have the same earning potential as an ex-husband due to these sacrifices. Today, women split household duties with their husbands and sometimes, in increasing cases, husbands stay home while women go out and work. In the last decade the number of stay at home dads has doubled.

These changes have led to greater economic benefits for women, but it has also made them face the same monetary obligations that men have for so long. One result of this economic shift has been a movement to eliminate alimony altogether, especially since the roles in marriage are becoming increasingly gender neutral.

When going through a divorce, a lawyer may be able to help people to understand how state laws regarding spousal support may impact them. Additionally, a lawyer may be able to help an individual to negotiate an equitable division of assets.

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

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More women being ordered to pay spousal support