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Can you seek alimony if you were a stay-at-home dad?

On Behalf of | Jun 19, 2023 | Divorce

Although divorce is a highly emotional process, it’s also a major financial transaction. If you take a lackadaisical approach to the important financial issues confronting you, then you could end up on the losing end of your divorce, which can spell hardship for the future.

You don’t want that to happen, which is why you need to go into your divorce with a solid plan. While this includes knowing how to negotiate property division, it also means assessing your other options for seeking financial stability, including pursuing spousal support.

But can husbands seek spousal support?

Absolutely! Even though there’s a perception that alimony is used to support former wives who need help becoming self-sufficient post-divorce, the law doesn’t favor one gender over the other. The law is written in a gender-neutral way, thereby allowing individuals like stay-at-home dads to seek the spousal support that they need. This support can be huge as you move onto the next chapter of your life, too, which is why you should definitely consider whether seeking it is an option for you.

How do you know if you can seek alimony?

When you decide to seek spousal support, there are going to be a lot of factors that come into play. On its face, though, you’ll want to consider if you’ve been financially disadvantaged because of the sacrifices that you made during your marriage. This includes giving up your career to stay at home to take care of your kids or giving up your education so that you could work to support your spouse as they obtained a degree.

But what about the other factors? In most cases, the court determining your alimony award is also going to consider each of the following:

  • The length of the marriage
  • The physical health of the parties
  • Each spouse’s earning capacity
  • The marital standard of living
  • The contributions each spouse made to the marriage
  • Each spouse’s parenting responsibilities post-divorce
  • Your ability to obtain employment and become self-sufficient
  • Your spouse’s ability to pay alimony

There may be other factors that come into play in your case, so make sure you’re taking a holistic look at your situation to figure out the best way to show that you’re deserving of an alimony award.

Will you have to fight out your alimony dispute in court?

Not necessarily. While it’s true that many spousal support cases end up getting litigated in front of a judge, there are a lot of couples that can negotiate a spousal support arrangement that’s fair for everyone involved.

Therefore, before you sit down at the negotiation table to find a way to settle your divorce without the need for extensive court intervention, you should think through your arguments for spousal support. Also, try to find ways to couch those arguments in terms that your spouse will understand and sympathize with, that way you position yourself as strongly as possible for resolution. But if those efforts are unsuccessful, then you’ve laid the groundwork for your arguments in court.

Do you need a legal ally in your corner?

Spousal support disputes can be hotly contested. And it’s easy to get wrapped up in the emotions of your divorce as you try to sort this issue out in a way that’s fair. But you might be able to avoid the contentious nature of these disagreements by learning how to develop targeted arguments that you need to be effective in your case.