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More women paying alimony in divorces

In divorce cases throughout the country, including in New Jersey, women have increasing been paying ex-husbands' or first wives' alimony. The trend comes at a time when many working women have begun to make more than their husbands. When they get divorced, they end up paying spousal support to their ex-husbands. Under judges' rulings, many women have to pay alimony on a regular basis, such as every month, to their exes. They often become upset about having to provide a portion of their earnings to their ex-husbands. During previous periods in history, men usually had to pay alimony after getting divorced because they were the primary household breadwinners.

Around the country, second wives have begun to try to push lawmakers to abolish alimony in divorce cases. In many cases, second wives end up paying a portion of their husbands' alimony after they get married. Many of these women have issues with having to go to work every day while their spouses' ex-wives live off the spousal support checks.

In New Jersey, judges do not make alimony decisions based upon alimony calculators. They award alimony based upon the length of a marriage, the amount of money an ex-husband or wife can pay, the financial needs of the ex-spouse requesting alimony, the amount of money needed to take care of children and the money an individual needs to get an education or training to become self-sufficient. Judges can decide to give ex-husbands or wives alimony for a shorter or longer duration of time, based upon their needs.

Divorces are rarely ever simple, even when couples have prenuptial agreements. In many divorce cases, emotions run high, especially when couples need to come to agreement on hot-button topics such as child support, child custody and alimony. Judges often use a wide variety of different factors to determine whether an ex-spouse will receive alimony and how much he or she receives. In divorce cases, women or men could end up paying alimony for a few months or years, depending on their financial situations and cases for or against spousal support.

Source: Divorce Net, "Understanding and Calculating Alimony in New Jersey."

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

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