Originally called alimony, courts have awarded spousal support payments as part of divorce proceedings for decades. In recent years, however, a new wrinkle to the traditional payments by husbands to wives has begun to emerge: manimony. If you have never heard this word before, the Women’s Institute for Financial Education explains that manimony is the nickname given to support payments made by a wife to her former husband.
While manimony awards occur in only about 15% of today’s divorces, it definitely represents an idea whose time has come. For one thing, more and more women today successfully climb the corporate ladder and achieve highly paid positions. For another, statistics show that in more than 40% of American households, the woman brings home the larger or only paycheck. Finally, more and more men, over 2 million of them, have become stay-at-home dads, leaving their wives or partners to support the family.
If your husband asks the court to award him manimony when you divorce, the judge will consider several factors, including the following, before awarding it to him:
- How much do you earn in comparison to him?
- What is your earning potential in comparison to his?
- What is your educational level in comparison to his?
- Could he increase his earning potential with additional education or training?
- How much nonfinancial contribution has he made to the marriage?
- How long has the marriage lasted?
Most courts award spousal support, manimony or traditional, for a limited number of years, generally not exceeding 10. Other factors may lessen the amount of time you pay manimony. For instance, your payments likely will stop if and when your former husband remarries. Or, if the court grants manimony on the basis of your husband’s need for further education or training, your payments almost assuredly will stop once he graduates or completes his prescribed course of training.