by Men's Rights Editor / in Finances
Candace Parker/Shelden Williams Divorce Highlights Men Asking for Alimony
For men, the idea of receiving alimony can seem like a foreign concept. Regardless of which spouse earned the most money in the marriage, many men entering the divorce experience resign themselves to the fact that they will be paying alimony.
The financial expectations of men in a marriage can be so steep, that if a marriage ends, the financial ramifications can leave many men high and dry.
However, there are options to consider, especially if you have a family law attorney that understands the difficult situation you may be facing. In order to make the best decision possible for your legal counsel, it is imperative that you consider the unique circumstances that men face during the divorce experience and consider attorneys that focus on the needs of men during this challenging time in their lives.
Men for alimony
Alimony does not have to be exclusively given to the wife, especially if the attorney can prove that the husband is in need of it. According to financial advisors at The Balance, researchers estimate that divorced spouses would, on average, need more than a 30 percent increase in their income to maintain the same standard of living they had prior to their divorce.
If they are aware during the divorce process that they are unable to maintain any sense of economic stability after the divorce is finalized, working with their attorney to establish alimony would be a viable solution to their financial problem.
Many attorneys are beginning to notice the increase in men asking for alimony from their wives. According to the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, 56 percent of divorce lawyers across the United States have seen an increase in mothers paying child support, and 47 percent have identified an increase in the number of women paying alimony, as of 2012.
This number continues to rise and can be found in many mainstream cases. One of which involves current Los Angeles Sparks guard Candace Parker and her ex-husband, former Atlanta Hawks forward Shelden Williams.
Ms. Parker, a two-time NCAA National Champion, two-time WNBA MVP, and WNBA Champion in 2016, married Mr. Williams, two-time National Association of Basketball Coaches Defensive Player of the Year winner and fifth-overall pick of the 2006 NBA Draft, in 2008. They had one daughter, Lailaa, during the course of their marriage.
In 2016, the couple filed for divorce with Mr. Williams stating “irreconcilable differences” in the divorce documents. During their divorce, the couple agreed on joint legal and physical custody with neither party paying child support. They also agreed to equally fund Lailaa’s education and split any major cost associated with her care, according to TMZ. Additionally, they agreed to divide the profits on their former home.
Despite these agreeable terms in their divorce, Mr. Williams felt that he needed to ask for alimony, in order to maintain the same standard of living for himself and for his daughter. Ms. Parker agreed to a lump sum alimony payment, and in exchange, she would not have to pay ongoing spousal support to Mr. Williams.
Understand your situation
Mr. Williams’ situation highlights an important point that many guys fail to consider. They see asking for alimony as a sign of weakness, but as Cordell & Cordell Principal Partner and Co-Founder Joseph E. Cordell points out, that would not be considered if roles were reversed.
“Our attorneys have found guys believe asking for alimony is perceived as a sign of weakness, further emasculating them in a relationship that was already lopsided and broken,” Mr. Cordell writes in a column for The Huffington Post. “If the roles were reversed, the wife would ask for alimony and not blink an eye.”
Men need to look beyond their perceptions and consider their financial futures when thinking about alimony, because many fail to realize how bad their financial situations can get. They assume that their rent, their food, their utilities, their car payment, their insurance, and their expenses related to any children that they may have will not slowly bleed their bank account.
This is on top of the assumption that regardless of the fact their soon-to-be ex-spouse makes more money than they do, that they will be the one paying alimony and child support.
No matter how successful you may be, you should not assume that you should be the one to pay alimony in your divorce. Even former professional athletes, like Mr. Williams, can look outside of gender stereotypes and consider their financial futures.
Men in this position need to take a moment and reassess their financial position. Speak with a financial advisor who is better suited to assess the situation and why asking for alimony may be necessary. Afterward, you and your attorney will be in a more knowledgeable position, regarding the trajectory of your financial future after the divorce is finalized.