Alimony is often seen as a type of support only available to women after a divorce. But the law is gender neutral, meaning that men, especially stay-at-home dads, have just as much of a right to seek spousal support as women. The only thing that’s going to matter in these cases is how the court assesses the various factors that come into play in making a determination as to whether an award of spousal support is appropriate.
The factors contributing to a spousal support determination
If you’re going to be seeking alimony from your spouse, you’ll need to speak to a number of applicable factors. They include the following:
- The length of the marriage, with longer marriages typically being deemed more worthy of a spousal support order.
- The standard of living that was enjoyed during the marriage, which is an all-encompassing look at how your life was lived, addressing everything from your home, your car, your clothing, and the frequency with which you shopped and dined out.
- Your age and the age of your spouse.
- The physical and mental health of you and your spouse, particularly as they affect earnings capacity.
- The economic standing of each spouse in light of how marital property and debt is divided.
- Whether either spouse needs additional education or training in order to obtain a job and become self-sufficient.
- The contributions made by each spouse during the marriage, which may include childcare, taking care of the home, supporting the other spouse in obtaining an education, assisting a spouse in building a business, and financial contributions.
- Which spouse will be primarily responsible for taking care of the kids.
- Each spouse’s sources of income and the extent of each
That may seem like a lot for the court to take into account, and it is. However, the law also gives the court the ability to consider any other factor that it deems relevant to its determination. Therefore, you have a lot of room to argue about why you’re entitled to spousal support.
Building your case for alimony
As a stay-at-home father, you’ll probably want to focus a lot on the contributions that you provided to the family. You likely gave up a career to be able to take care of your children, which has probably impacted your earning capacity post-divorce. So, be sure to be as detailed as possible here, painting a clear picture of what you’ve given up and how you’ve supported your family in those regards. You’ll want to be prepared to testify as to all of this.
Also, you’ll want to try to give a clear sense of what your standard of living looked like during your marriage. To do so, consider gathering financial records and receipts that show how often you and your spouse went out, where you lived, and what you drove. Even your vacations may play into this determination. So, make sure that you’re taking a comprehensive approach to show your standard of living. Remember, it’s better to gather too much information here than too little.
Are you ready to seek the support that you deserve?
You’ve done a lot to support your family over the years. In return, you deserve to have the support that you need to have financial stability post-divorce. But that outcome isn’t guaranteed, and it isn’t automatic. Instead, you’re going to have to lay out competent arguments as to why you’re entitled to support.
Fortunately, that’s not an argument that you have to make on your own. Instead, you can seek out assistance from a competent family law attorney who will know how to help you build the legal arguments that you need to maximize your chances of success.