In the days of old, men in Wisconsin and the rest of the U.S. were too manly to accept alimony from their ex-spouse. They would not even ask. While, most still will not ask, more men are getting spousal support than ever before. MarketWatch notes that 45% of lawyers noted an increase in women paying not just alimony but also child support.
While equal pay is still a problem in the workplace, it is becoming less prevalent at home. Many women out-earn their partners and more men now opt to become stay-at-home dads. Because of this, in the event of a divorce, the women often end up footing the bill for child support and alimony. Many are very surprised when this happens. However, from as early as 1979, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that paying spousal support was gender neutral.
There is one problem gender-neutral spousal support fails to account for. When a man commands the greater income in the home, he also usually holds the place as the head of the family. This is not the automatic case for women. Even women brining in six-figure salaries may find themselves subservient to a lower-earning or unemployed male. In some instances, resentment builds up and it escalates to abuse. Imagine being told to pay an abuser spousal support.
According to Forbes, men make up only 3% of the people who receive spousal support. This is despite the fact that 40% of American families have a female breadwinner at the economic head, if not the social one. In fact, not all of these women are opposed to paying spousal support after a divorce. Especially when there are kids involved, and the father must remain the primary caretaker so she can focus on her career, women are more likely to accept the gender reversal with grace.
Even so, spousal support as a system may not remain in its current form for much longer. Many states are making adjustments to make it either one large settlement or temporary financial assistance. For the homemakers who benched on receiving this income to make it through retirement, they may need to consider alternative arrangements in the future, regardless of gender.