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Bread-winning Women Want Alimony Reform


Much has changed for women in the socio-economic realm. Today, successful women who have been ordered to pay their ex-husband's spousal support or alimony indefinitely are fighting for alimony reform. In fact, if you are considering divorce and you are the breadwinner in the family, don’t be blindsided if your husband requests alimony.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2006, 26 percent of wives earned more than their working husbands. As the percentage of women entering the workforce increases, so does the number of men, staying home to care for children. In fact, an estimated 2 million men are now stay-at-home dads. This could be the correlation that lead to the increase in men, who had previously shied away from asking for alimony, now requesting spousal support.

Many women are upset about the concept of permanent alimony. This is where one spouse pays another spouse indefinitely. States like Texas have addressed cases like this by restricting most cases of alimony to helping lower-earning spouses get back on their feet and obtain job training. Today, family courts no longer see the need for one parent to stay at home and raise the children; instead the idea of “everybody works” has permeated the family court.

While indefinite alimony payments are rare, some women report having to pay as much as 65 percent of their income a month to their ex-husbands. The state of Texas currently limits the duration one spouse will be required to pay spousal support by the amount of time married. If their marriage lasted up to 30 years, they could be required to pay alimony for up to ten years. The time needed to pay decreases as the years spent married declines.

In an interview for Time magazine, one 52-year-old dentist named Tanya Williams stated, “There’s no other contract where the liability continues after the contract ends.” Williams has spent the last 13 years paying her ex-husband alimony.

For more information regarding alimony or any other family law matters, contact our Collin County divorce attorney.

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