A New Study Raises Questions About the ‘Gender-Neutral’ Alimony in North Carolina

Board Certified Family Law Specialist Matt Arnold answers the question: “When do you get alimony?”


To put it another way, can men ask for alimony in North Carolina? Alimony is believed to be a gender-neutral aspect of divorce, so how come so few men get spousal support in our state?

money-or-mariage-Charlotte-Monroe-Mooresville-Alimony-Attorney-300x277A new study has shed light on the issue of the gender pay gap, financial stress in marriages, and alimony. When it comes to some core family law issues, there are many stereotypes and assumptions about who is more likely to become the custodial parent, who is more likely to file for divorce, and who has more chances to get alimony.

However, you do not need to worry about those stereotypes and assumptions if you have a Charlotte family law attorney by your side. With a lawyer, you get the most favorable and fair settlement regardless of your gender, age, and income.


Husbands’ Stress Increases When Wives Earn Over 40% of Household Income

A study from the University of Bath shows that husbands’ stress increases if wives earn more than 40% of their household income. As reported by Phys.org, the study analyzed more than 6,000 heterosexual couples over 15 years.

There are three key takeaways from the 2019 study:

  • Men are least stressed when their wives earn no more than 40% of household income;
  • Husbands are at their most anxious if they are the sole breadwinner; and
  • Men become increasingly uncomfortable when their wives’ earnings account for more than 40% of their household finances.

The study also showed that men are less likely to be anxious about their wives’ income if their spouse was the higher earner before marriage. According to the Pew Research Centre, women earned 85% of what men earned in 2018.


Can Men Request Alimony in North Carolina?

As gender role stereotypes sink into oblivion and the gender pay gap continues to shrink by the year, an increasing number of people in Charlotte and all across North Carolina wonder, “Can men request alimony?

Technically, yes, men are entitled to spousal support payments just as much as women are. But that does not mean that men are granted alimony as often as women are. Many in North Carolina are still biased in that regard, and many people still believe that only women can request alimony payments after a divorce.


Do North Carolina Courts Consider Gender When Awarding Spousal Support?

Contrary to popular belief, men can ask for alimony in North Carolina courts because judges do not consider the requesting party’s gender when establishing an order for spousal support. Factors that do matter are:

  • The length of the marriage
  • Each party’s income
  • Whether one spouse was supporting the other
  • Spouses’ dependence upon one another

Many men in Charlotte and other parts of North Carolina are reluctant to ask for alimony payments. If a husband was dependent upon his wife during the marriage, his reluctance to request alimony during divorce proceedings could hurt him financially in the long run.

Contacting a Charlotte family law attorney when requesting alimony is a good idea regardless of your gender. Your lawyer will argue that the court should not be influenced by any gender role stereotypes and will make sure that an alimony request is truly in your best interests. Call at 704-370-2828 to determine your options. If you find yourself facing a complicated family law matter and need the help of experienced family-law attorneys, speak with our detail-oriented and well-versed lawyers in or around Charlotte, Lake Norman, or at our new office in Monroe, please contact Arnold & Smith, PLLC today at (704) 370-2828 or find additional resources here.







The family law practice group at Arnold & Smith, PLLC includes two Board-Certified Family Law specialists and one Child Welfare Law specialist, as well as several attorneys with many years of family law experience that are committed to providing a powerful voice to individuals facing the often-tumultuous issues in this area of law. The range of issues our family law clients may be facing include pre- and post-nuptial agreements; separation agreements; post-separation support; child support (both temporary and permanent); absolute divorce; divorce from bed and board; military divorce; equitable distribution of assets; child custody (both temporary and permanent); retirement benefits and divorce; alimony and spousal support; adoption; and emancipation. Because this area of the law is usually emotionally charged and complicated, the family law attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC act with the utmost dedication to ensure that each client understands his or her options, and then act to achieve the best result possible for that client’s particular situation.





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