Overcoming the Stigma of Male Spousal Support

Overcoming the Stigma of Male Spousal SupportIt is increasingly common for women to be the breadwinner in marriages, while more husbands are choosing to be stay-at-home dads. Societal norms are changing so that marriage roles are more independent from gender. Gender norms have also changed in divorce. Whereas it was once assumed that the husband would pay spousal support to the wife, more courts are awarding spousal support to men. However, statistics suggest that a significant number of men are eligible for spousal support but do not receive it. Because Illinois law does not distinguish between genders in determining spousal support, there should be no legal reason for this. Society’s lingering gender bias is likely the reason more divorced men do not receive spousal support.

Male Pride

Some men believe that receiving spousal support payments from their former wives would emasculate them. Through their experiences witnessing other marriages growing up, they may have learned that:

  • Men are supposed to be providers with steady jobs;
  • Women make less income because their primary responsibilities are at home; and
  • After a divorce, men should be earning more money because they have focused on their careers.

When a man is entitled to spousal support, his pride may convince him to reject it. He may feel that it is the woman’s role to receive spousal support and that a “real man” does not rely on his former wife’s money. This is putting emotions ahead of common sense. Men and women have the right to reject spousal support. Some people feel empowered by financially freeing themselves from their spouses. However, it is foolish to reject spousal support because you think it makes you less of a man.

Female Expectations

Some women embrace gender equality in their marriages but favor traditional gender roles during a divorce. A woman with a higher income than her husband may:

  • Argue against paying spousal support; and
  • Demand that the husband make support payments to her.

Women may believe they are always entitled to spousal support, especially if they have primary allocation of parental responsibilities. Mothers can receive child support from their former husbands, while still being required to pay spousal support. A woman’s success in arguing against spousal support may depend on any judicial bias in court. A biased judge may favor traditional gender roles in a divorce, even though spousal support is gender neutral.

Receiving Support

Spousal support for men is a result of gender equality, though some people cling to their gender biases. A Kane County divorce attorney with Goostree Law Group can help clients of any gender receive the post-divorce support payments they deserve. Call 630-584-4800 for a free consultation.



Goostree Law Group

Goostree Law Group

 555 S. Randall Road, Suite 200
St. Charles, IL 60174


 400 S. County Farm Road, Suite 300
Wheaton, IL 60187


Our Illinois divorce attorneys represent clients in Kane County, DuPage County, Kendall County and DeKalb County, including Geneva, Batavia, St.Charles, Wayne, Wasco, Elburn, Virgil, Lily Lake, Aurora, North Aurora, Elgin, South Elgin, Bartlett, Crystal Lake, Gilberts, Millcreek, Maple Park, Kaneville, LaFox, Yorkville, Oswego, Plano, Sugar Grove, Big Rock, Bristol, Newark, DeKalb, Sycamore, Naperville, Wheaton, West Chicago, Winfield, Warrenville, Downers Grove, Lombard, Oak Brook, Streamwood, Hoffman Estates, Barrington, South Barrington, Lake Barrington, Schaumburg, Big Grove, Boulder Hill, Bristol, Joliet, Kendall, Lisbon, Minooka, Montgomery, Plainfield, Sandwich, Yorkville and many other cities.

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