Can Men Receive Spousal Support?
Many men in California worry that at the time of their divorce, the court will favor the wife, particularly in matters such as spousal support. The old stereotype image of a family, which still exists in the minds of some people, is that the husband is the main earning member of the family, while the wife stays out of the workforce to manage the household and raise kids.
However, the law in California pays no attention to such traditional stereotypes, and makes no distinction between a man and a woman when it comes to issues such as spousal support in a divorce. A good divorce lawyer in Orange County will be able to explain to you your rights as a man in a divorce, and help you protect those rights to the fullest extent.
Does Your Wife Earn More than You?
Under California law, the core principle behind spousal support is that neither party in a divorce should end up with exceptionally more money than the other. Both during your marriage and at the time of your divorce, you and your spouse should be treated equally. Your gender has no role to play in matters such as spousal support.
Therefore, if your income, assets and/or earning ability is less than your wife, you may have a strong claim to receive spousal support in a California divorce. Your divorce lawyer will also try to establish that your living standards and your lifestyle costs are similar to that of your spouse, which further strengthens your case for receiving spousal support if your wife earns more than you.
Have You Been a Stay-at-Home Dad?
If during the course of your marriage, you stayed at home to raise children for a considerable period of time, while your wife worked outside the home to earn a financial income, your claim to receive spousal support becomes even stronger. The court will treat your claim just as it would in the case of a stay-at-home mom for spousal support.
Your divorce attorney will try to establish that while you were taking care of the home and kids, you lost the career opportunity to earn a similar financial income as your wife. Your attorney can try to convince the court that looking after the home and kids is also a full-time occupation, and your wife was able to work and earn an income because your backing as a stay-at-home dad was available to her.
You can also show to the court that while staying at home, you brought down the costs of running the household, saved the family a significant amount of money on housework, childcare, and children’s upbringing costs. These contributions should be considered in financial terms at the time of determining spousal support for you as a stay-at-home father.
Did Your Professional Career Growth Suffer?
If your wife was earning well in her career throughout marriage, you may have chosen to take a backseat in your own career while looking at the overall work-life balance for the family. It is also possible that your wife’s career required her to relocate, and you chose to give up a promising job or career because she had stronger career prospects.
But now that the marriage is getting over, you cannot reverse the hands of the clock and secure your lost career opportunities. If your divorce lawyer in Orange County is able to establish these facts before the court, you will be held to a different standard from your wife while evaluating your future financial position and career, and may receive your rightful spousal support.
Get Legal Support from an Astute Divorce Lawyer in Orange County
Statistics show that even though now men and women have increasingly similar financial and career opportunities, the number of men receiving spousal support in divorces across the country and in California is still overwhelmingly smaller than women.
One of the reasons could be that a judge may have an unconscious bias that makes them more inclined to deny spousal support to men or limit their amount and duration of the support payments. To fight these potential barriers, you should have a strong legal counsel who can aggressively pursue your right to spousal support.
Once a divorce settlement is finalized, and you realize later on that you unreasonably lost out on spousal support or you simply did not exercise your right to seek maximum spousal support, you will not be able to change the court’s decision.
Therefore, make sure you work with a top-rated divorce lawyer in Orange County who has handled high asset divorce cases and is prepared to maximize your spousal support through negotiation with the other party or by proving your case in court. Your right to spousal support is related to the financial factors that affect your marriage, and has nothing to do your being a man.