Alimony may seem like an outdated concept. When it originated, it was during a time when women stayed home to tend the children and the house, and men were the only ones working and supporting the household.
At that time, the goal was to ensure the wife had the proper income to support herself and any children after the divorce. Since then, alimony has gone through some changes. FindLaw explains alimony is still for the support of one spouse after the marriage, but it may also be a way to ensure the standard of living after a divorce.
One of the biggest changes in alimony is that women are not the only recipients. While the majority of cases do still involve a man paying a woman, you certainly could get alimony if your former wife made more money than you or if there is another situation in which there will be a large financial discrepancy between you and her after the divorce.
Defining a purpose
In most cases, the court will award you alimony because you will be in a worse place after the divorce financially whereas your former spouse will not. However, if you have a high asset divorce situation where you both will have substantial assets after the divorce, the court might still issue alimony.
In that situation, alimony is more about maintaining the standard of living that you had during the marriage.
The court has a lot of freedom when it comes to alimony decisions. You will need to prove your case and offer a compelling reason for the payments. The court does not automatically assign alimony in a divorce. You will need to ask for it and show why you should receive it.