Couples in Texas may be surprised to learn that one disadvantage to women achieving higher earnings is that they may be ordered by a court to pay alimony to their former husbands if they divorce. This phenomenon is part of a larger trend that is known as the degenderization of marriage. As society does away with assumptions about the roles in society of men and women, it also rejects the traditional gender roles held within marriage.
One reason that men have traditionally been obligated to pay alimony to their former wives is that it was assumed that women sacrificed earning potential in order to tend to the marital home and raise children. If a woman did not receive post-secondary education or training and did not work outside the home to build a resume, she would be ill-equipped to make a living after divorce. This assumption has become less valid over the last several decades as more married women have worked outside the home. Many women now have a greater income than their husbands, changing the modern role of family law attorneys.
As some women have higher earnings than their husbands, some men are sacrificing their jobs to help their wives pursue lucrative careers. There are still few men who stay at home to take care of their children, but their numbers are growing. Men who make such choices may have difficulty making an adequate income after a divorce. They may need to receive alimony until they can earn a sufficient income.
Men or women need to discuss alimony or spousal support with an attorney if they are considering divorce. An attorney can advise and inform about the factors that courts consider before granting temporary or permanent alimony, such as age, education, job prospects and assets.
Source: TIME Ideas, "The De-Gendering of Divorce: Wives Pay Ex-Husbands Alimony Too Read more: http://ideas.time.com/2013/05/16/the-de-gendering-of-divorce-wives-pay-ex-husbands-alimony-too/#ixzz2TrmSP2jW", Liza Mundy, May 16, 2013