As a well-paid female management level employee in Connecticut, you likely have a satisfying work life. If your marriage is less than satisfying, however, you should be aware that if and when you divorce, the court may require you to pay your husband manimony. That is not its real name, of course, but rather the nickname applied to the spousal support payments that women make to their ex-husbands after a divorce.
As women have entered and succeeded in the workforce the past several decades, more and more of them find themselves in the position of earning as much as, if not more than, their husbands. If this describes you and your husband, you likely are quite proud of your economic equality. Yours may even be one of the 40 percent of American households where your paycheck represents the major or only one supporting the family.
As satisfying as financial equality may be, it can have a downside if your marriage comes to an end. Today courts award manimony in only about 20 percent of divorce cases nationwide, but those numbers likely will increase in the future as women such as you continue to climb the corporate ladder and receive the higher compensation associated with it. In other words, “reverse alimony” is an idea whose time apparently has come.
In any divorce situation where spousal support is at issue, the court considers a variety of factors before making its award. When considering the possibility of manimony, these factors include the following:
- The amount of discrepancy between your current salary and that of your husband
- The amount of discrepancy between what you likely can earn in the future as compared to what your husband likely can earn
- The discrepancy between your education and training level and that of your husband
- The amount of additional education or training your husband requires to come up to your earning potential
- The length of time the two of you have been married
- The extent of the noneconomic contributions your husband made to your marriage
Most spousal support awards last for 10 years at the most, so you will not be “stuck” with paying manimony for the rest of your life should the court require you to pay it now. In addition, most spousal support awards include a provision whereby the payments stop if and when the receiving spouse remarries. If the court awards your husband manimony based on his need for further education or training, the award likely will contain a provision whereby your payments stop once he completes the required education or training.