The courts do not consider gender when determining who gets spousal support. The determination of the court comes from need and the finances of both spouses.
According to Forbes, though, more often it is women who receive spousal support awards. In some cases, this is due to the wife staying home with the children or only working part-time, while the husband was the main wage earner. However, women earning less is not the only reason men often do not receive spousal support.
Part of the reason why women get alimony more often is because men do not want to ask for it, even when they could get it. The idea of gender roles or pride may keep them from requesting support because then they would feel like a woman was taking care of them. Some men may have no such hang-ups, but mistakenly think alimony is only for women.
More fighting back
Another reason for this inequality is that women often fight harder in court against alimony awards. They do not want to pay, and they will do whatever it takes to not have to do it. They will be more aggressive in court and not as likely to agree to alimony as men. Whereas men may feel spousal support is inevitable, women feel like they do not owe their former spouse anything.
Judges have a lot of discretion when ordering spousal support, which means that there is always the chance of personal opinions clouding a judgment. Some judges may simply not think men need alimony and therefore not award it to them.