More New Jersey women paying spousal support

Perhaps it is a sign of the times, but more New Jersey women are being ordered to pay alimony to their ex-husbands in the wake of a divorce. Under New Jersey family law, when there is a sizeable income disparity between husband and wife, the party earning more money is typically ordered to make financial payments to the other party in the event of a divorce.

In the past, it was more common for men to pay alimony or spousal support to their ex-wives because the husband was more likely to be the sole breadwinner in the family or -- in cases where both spouses worked -- to bring home bigger paychecks. It was far more often the case that the wife would stay home to raise the kids, thereby earning no income throughout the marriage. However, women are starting to out-earn their husbands and are sometimes the sole providers of their households. As a result, many are required to pay permanent spousal support to their exes after they part ways.

One New Jersey woman is an example of this shift in divorce trends across the state. The woman married her husband when they were in their early twenties and neither had much money. As time went by, her income increased to six figures. Her husband, on the other hand, worked in the construction industry at irregular intervals which resulted in him earning considerably less. When they divorced after 19 years, she was required to pay $1,500 per month in alimony.

In most divorces where alimony is ordered, that spousal support must be paid until the receiving spouse remarries, unless otherwise specified. However, the amount can be amended if the person paying the support experiences a reduction in income. Those seeking modifications of support orders after divorce need to learn about their rights regarding alimony and other family legal issues.

Source: WABC TV, "More women paying alimony to ex-husbands," Darla Miles, Sept. 25, 2012