Law Office of Stephen W. Penn and Associates

Will the court order you to pay manimony when you divorce?

Are you a California female with a well-paying job? Are you married? Are you thinking about getting a divorce? If you answered yes to all three of these questions, you should be aware of the fact that if your husband asks the court to award him spousal maintenance during your upcoming divorce, the court may well require you to pay it, particularly if your husband earns less than you do.

If you have never before heard the word "manimony," Wife.org explains that this is the nickname applied to spousal support payments paid by a former wife to a former husband. While only about 10 percent of divorcing husbands nationwide get manimony awards today, this is an idea whose time has come as increasing numbers of wives not only work outside the home, but earn substantial money doing so. Even six years ago, a woman represented the major or only breadwinner in 40 percent of American homes. In approximately 2 million of these homes, dad stayed home with the kids while mom went to work and brought home the bacon.

Factors leading to manimony awards

In any spousal maintenance award, the court considers a number of factors before making it. Should your husband seek manimony, the court likely will consider the following things:

  • Do you earn more than your husband, and if so, how much more?
  • Do you have the potential to earn more than your husband, and if so, how much more?
  • Do you have more education than your husband, and if so, how much more?
  • Would your husband likely earn more if he obtained additional education or training, and if so, how much and what type?
  • To what extent has your husband contributed to the marriage in nonfinancial ways?
  • How long have the two of you been married?

Factors involved in manimony duration

Barring highly unusual circumstances, most courts award spousal maintenance, whether traditional or manimony, for no longer than 10 years. If the court bases its award on your husband's need for further education, your manimony payments undoubtedly will cease once he obtains it. In addition, virtually all courts allow payments to cease if and when the person receiving them remarries.

This is general educational information and not intended to provide legal advice.

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