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Commentators: More men seeking spousal support in divorce

Family structures have changed in some ways in recent decades. More fathers are stay at home dads in California. In two-income households, more and more women are the major breadwinners. These changes in household structure may be important in resolving issues after a marriage break down. Property division issues are not the only source of dispute involving finances in a divorce.

In marriages involving children, changes in household structure during the marriage may influence child custody, visitation and child support issues. Similarly, some divorce lawyers are seeing an uptick in the number of men seeking spousal support in a divorce.

In 2010, U.S. Census data shows that roughly 400,000 people received alimony from a divorce proceeding. About 3 percent of those receiving spousal support were listed as men. In the late 70s, the United States Supreme Court ruled that spousal support issues should not be determined solely along gender lines. While gender may not necessarily be a factor in the overall analysis, family law principles will still apply.

Changes in social mores in general may often be reflected (at some point) in family court disputes. While not all couples list spousal support as an issue, the concept highlights how an individual’s personal situation may impact a divorce.

There is a great deal of readily available commentary about divorce. Ideas about child custody may generally be considered through the lens of the best interests of the child. But, it is vital to note that household norms throughout the child’s life preceding the divorce may be analyzed as a part of the best interests of the child.

Similarly, the factors for analyzing spousal support rely upon the individual circumstances involved with the marriage at issue in the divorce.

Source: Money News, "Increasing Numbers of Men Get Alimony From Their Ex-Wives,” Dec. 24, 2013

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