Why you should never count on alimony

don't take alimony

Nearly 400,000 divorced women receive alimony — a critical topic when considering post-divorce life, feminism, the pay gap, and women's empowerment — financial or otherwise. I feel very strongly that every single woman (indeed, 97 percent of people who get spousal support are women) should turn down any opportunity for alimony, aka spousal support, as it is a took to keep women to be dependent on men and not take full responsibility for themselves. Just a generation ago alimony was a feminist coup, giving women with scant financial opportunity a way to support themselves and their families in the event of divorce. This made sense when women had scant financial or professional opportunity. Those days are gone, and so, too, should alimony.

In many states lifetime alimony is being challenged, and how the growing numbers of (successful, professional) female judges have little sympathy for women who do not work outside the home, and are denying them alimony.

There is no better truth-revealer for a marriage than divorce. All those horrible things you thought about your husband but were too nice/afraid/kind to say about his mother/underperformance at work/penis size? You say them. All the disgusting things you suspected he believed about you but would never utter aloud about your brother/weight/performance in bed? He shouts them.

Which is why divorce lawyers are such an accurate barometer of what is happening in the relationship zeitgeist. The get the raw, un-adulterated (though often adultering) dirt on how couples think, act and feel.

My friend and neighbor Morghan Richardson, a family lawyer in Astoria, Queens, New York, says that women are often stunned to hear their soon-to-be ex-husbands confess that they never really wanted her to abandon their careers and stay home. And they are stunned, to hear divorce and child support judges demand women work full time — no matter how many or how little their children are. In the mommy wars, the increasing numbers of female judges (who are firmly in the working mothers camp) have their say. And they say being a SAHM does not count as work.

In other words: You can argue all day long that staying at home raising children is a full time job. But the legals system decides, and the legal system disagrees. So does your husband.

I see this attitude in many of the men I date. These are progressive, feminist men who maybe at one point conceded that it made sense for one parent to stay home full time with the children. Then the kids got older. He was under a lot of pressure to be the sole breadwinner and he resented it, especially since there was another educated adult in the family. He went to work each and every day with women — beautiful women — who worked fulltime and raised what seemed like perfectly healthy children. And now they're divorced and he is so, so angry that he pays her bills since she makes so much less than she could have had she stayed in the workforce and “pulled her own financial weight,” which may have saved the marriage!

The reform is the result of petitions by groups who feel that alimony hurts men by making them pay an unfair sum to women they are no longer married to, and who have opportunity to be financially independent. Reform is just beginning.

This new shift away from guaranteed, lifelong maintenance is tough for women who did not prepare for the financial realities of divorce and chose to be dependent on their husbands. I sympathize with some of these women — those who have disabled children who require intense, and extensive care long beyond age 18, women who are mentally or physically disabled themselves, and women who are in their 70s and older and came of age when there truly was not economic gender equality.

But for everyone else, I applaud this move to limit alimony. This is good for women, and what is good for women is good for families and the country. Here’s why:

An end of alimony would force each able-bodied person to be financially responsible for themselves

Suffragists and feminists before us fought bitterly (and joyously, one would hope) so you and I have financial and legal parity with men. We have a way to go, but for the most part in this country women have opportunity to support themselves. With opportunity comes responsibility. You choose to be financially dependent on someone else (like a husband), you take a risk. If that marriage ends and you have little career equity and low earning potential as a result, you must pay the consequences of the downside of that risk.

Take alimony out of the career-planning equation and we force women to take full responsibility for their careers and finances from the beginning of adulthood. This is critical if we are going to close the pay gap, which has little to do with workplace sexism, and more to do with women choosing lower-paying professions and stepping away from careers to devote to family life. This will also address the issue of female financial literacy. One study found that women’s involvement in household finances is directly proportionate to their contribution to family income. In other words, the more a woman contributes to the family finances, the more involved she is with managing them,  a fact that would impact these alarming figures on female financial literacy from workplace wellness program firm Financial Finesse:

  • One-third of women feel confident about their investment allocation, vs half of men
  • 66% of women report a general knowledge of investing, vs 85% of men
  • 63% of women report having a handle on cash management, vs 78% of men
  • 47% of women indicate that they have an emergency fund, vs 62% of men

Ending alimony would be a boon for family financial security, ringing a clear, screaming alarm that you must plan for the very real chance that both spouses’ income will be likely critical to the family. What will it take for people to realize — and plan for — the fact that divorce rates have hovered around 50% for decades? Divorce is just one risk. Maintaining a career is about being a responsible member of your family. Even if you have the hottest, most committed marriage that lasts until the end of one of your lives, there are other realities you must plan for:

Unemployment. Nearly four out of five U.S. adults will face severe joblessness, near poverty or being on welfare. Men in recent history have been far more likely to suffer in an economic downturn. During the recession – from December 2007 to June 2009—men lost 5.4 million jobs while women lost 2.1 million. Again, this is a numbers game. Betting on your husband to support you and your family simply is not a good financial move.

Disability. Nearly 5% of all eligible adults receive disability insurance benefits.

Life. Crap happens. Accidents, psychotic breaks, natural disasters and fires. You have no idea what is in store. So you do smart things. Like keep a career going, which boosts your family’s financial security by 2x at least.

Happily employed people have happier marriages and less likelihood of divorce .

Researchers at UCLA and Utrecht University in the Netherlands found that the happiest marriages are those in which both spouses are engaged in careers they enjoy. In their book, Getting to  50/50, Sharon Meers and Joanna Strober report that a marriage in which both parties earn about the same and do about the same amount of housework and childcare have a chance of divorce 48 percent lower than average.

But perhaps the biggest reason no alimony is great for women is that without it, each party is allowed to move on with their lives, which is the whole point of divorce.

Depending an ex only keeps you emotionally embroiled in a marriage that is now over

I have a friend who abandoned a thriving small business she’d built for 15 years when she married a successful New York City tax attorney and had a baby. The marriage ended. He pays her a sum each month that keeps her in an Upper East Side two-bedroom, three-story townhouse, while she struggles to rebuild her business. “Tell your readers to never stop working,” she told me recently.  “There is nothing worse than being dependent on a man who you are trying to separate from.”

Also, there is nothing better than knowing that your own life is entirely of your making. That is the definition of empowerment — gender or otherwise.

I was on WCCO CBS in Minneapolis speaking about this win my friend, anchor Jordana Green who receives alimony. “Isn't it unfair if you're used to living in a $500,000 house but have to move into an apartment when you divorce?” she asked.

My answer? “If you want a $500,000 house, pursue a career that affords you one.”

As one alimony reform activist emailed me: “Alimony law was created to ‘keep the lesser earning spouse in the lifestyle in which they are accustomed.' Using that logic, wealthy parents should be legally obligated to support their kids throughout their lives.” I agree.

It's irresponsible to build a life around alimony you have no control over

Your ex could lose his job, die, become disabled, chose a lower-paying career, see his business tank, or go MIA. You have no control over that, and if you depend on his income, you live in fear every single day it will go away. Shift that energy into your own income and career, which you do have control over, and watch your life change.

Alimony makes co-parenting very contentious

So does child support. There has never, ever in the history of divorce been a person who pays money to another person who they believe is capable of supporting themselves. Since your ex is angry about paying alimony (and child support), that anger will manifest in all sorts of ways in your relationship, which has now been reduced to coparents. May not be fair, may be court-sanctioned, but you are lesser co-parents because this money came between you.

Dana Lin was a stay-at-home mom for most of her marriage, and admits there was a measure of pride in not pursuing alimony or child support in her divorce, even though she could barely support herself — selling her wedding and heirloom jewelry to make ends meet, and not eating for days on end when her children spent time with their dad. She was entitled to about $3,000 in monthly support an alimony.

Lin, the mother of two grade-school daughters at the time, also didn’t want money complicating her relationship with her children’s father. “I never wanted him to be able to say, ‘I can’t spend time with the kids because I have to work long hours to support you,’” says Lin, who at the time of the split worked part-time as a school office manager for $20 per hour. Today, she says, she has a very friendly relationship with her ex, who “is an amazing father now,” while he was only marginally involved while married.

sell diamond online

Alimony hold you back professionally, personally and financially

If you disqualify from money from your ex if you earn too much, you consciously or unconsciously earn less, are less ambitious, less professionally fullfilled, and more resentful as a result. This is bad for you, a bad example for your children, and bad for women and the pay gap.

“I was very ambitious and had great earning potential,” says Lin, 43. “I didn’t want anyone to say I couldn’t make it without him.” Lin pursued her dream of being a screenwriter, today working as a script doctor and ghostwriter. Two years ago with a partner she launched Zen Life Services, which provides stress training management skills to law enforcement employees. “Living lean taught me to be more disciplined,” she says. “Sometimes if you have too much of a cushion you’re not as aggressive in pursuing your dreams.”

The takeaway? Keep a foot in the workforce, even when your kids are babies. Accept as fact you have a 50 percent chance of being divorced, and even if your husband seems to fully support heading a one-income household, deep down he likely feels very differently — or eventually will. Regardless of what everyone feels, the only feelings that really matter are the judge's. And as more women take the ranks of the courts, there is less legal inclination for alimony — especially when the petitioner is an educated woman who chooses not to earn a living.

Other ways to listen: iTunes  ♦  Stitcher   ♦  TuneIn   ♦  SoundCloudGoogle Play

Want to close the pay gap? Get dads involved? 50-50 custody and no child support

Why you should never count on alimony

Alimony? Just say no.

How to find work-at-home jobs that pay well

Did this post scare the crap out of you? Are you a SAHM who realizes you must start earning? Afraid your career prospects are nil after so much time out of the workforce? Sad at the thought of being away from your kids?

Thanks to technology and a changing work culture that values parents and is happy to offer full- and part-time flexible, temp, telecommute, remote and other work-at-home opportunities, there are countless quality, legit jobs and careers that pay well, and also provide the flexibility to spend time with your family, working out, build a side gig, or otherwise enjoy life. 

In fact, working from home tops my gratitude list most days, as it has allowed me to devote concentrated sums of time building a business that I love, pays well, and allows me to spend as much (or little! Let's e real here!) time with my kids as I need to. 

This is my list of top, high-paying careers that you can do from home.

The list includes: programmer / coder, graphic designer, translator, virtual assistant, social media manager, corporate event and travel planner, bookkeeper, child care provider, blogger and grant writer. 

My favorite job board for moms is FlexJobs — the leading job site specifically for telecommuting, part-time, flexible-time, online, work from home, and other alternative work arrangements that make such a big difference in families’ lives.

FlexJobs was started by Sara Sutton-Fell, a real-life mom who wanted to work from home, earn a good living, and spend time with her family.

Quick facts about FlexJobs:

  • Huge database of screened and vetted (no scams!) temp, part-time, full-time, remote, online and other work-at-home jobs. At time of writing, FlexJobs posted:
    • 32,686 positions
    • 5,594 hiring companies
  • Extremely reputable:
    • Better Business Bureau A+ rating
    • Appearances in the Oprah magazine, Inc., Good Morning America, USAToday, Washington Post, New York Times, and Wealthysinglemommy.com ;)
    • Every company in FlexJob's database has been screened by hand, and found to be legitimate.
    • Job posts and featured hiring companies are hand-vetted by FlexJobs employees. Many of the postings are by Fortune 100 and Fortune 500 jobs.
  • Affordable pricing:
    • $14.95 / month
    • $29.95 / quarter
    • $49.95 / year
  • 100% satisfaction guarantee — cancel anytime, and get a refund if you are not happy with the job selection
  • Easy-to-use site
    • Go to FlexJobs.com (use promo code FLEXLIFE)
    • Browse for free
    •  When you become a member, you can create a profile, upload a resume, and interact directly with hiring managers
    •  FlexJobs suggests postings for you based on your preferences and resume
    • Search by newest postings

If you need fast, extra cash (not necessarily a new job or career), here is my list of 101 ways to make extra cash, quick. Advice includes easy ways to sell things you have, the best online survey companies, online English tutoring, and rent stuff you own, like your home or car. 

What do you think? Do you get alimony? Do you pay your ex alimony? Do you think alimony helped or hurt you get back on your feet after your split? Share in the comments!

About Emma Johnson

Emma Johnson is an award-winning business journalist, noted blogger, and bestselling author. A former Associated Press Financial Wire reporter and MSN Money columnist, Emma has written for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Glamour, Oprah.com, U.S. News, Parenting, USA Today and others. Her #1 bestseller, The Kickass Single Mom (Penguin), was named to the New York Post's ‘Must Read” list.Emma regularly comments on issues of modern families, gender equality, divorce, sex and motherhood for outlets like CNN, Headline News, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Fox & Friends, CNBC, NPR, TIME, MONEY, O, The Oprah Magazine and The Doctors. She was named Parents magazine’s “Best of the Web,” “Top 15 Personal Finance Podcasts” by U.S. News, and a “Most Eligible New Yorker” by New York Observer.A popular speaker, Emma presented at the United Nations Summit for Gender Equality. Read more about Emma here.  Find out Emma's top Single Mom Resources here.


  1. Ilo on May 22, 2019 at 12:32 am

    What is direly at issue is that the legal system, particularly the branch of family court that’s riddled with guidelines rather than vehicles for equitable accountability in the burden of proof, is susceptible to exploitation by anyone deemed as somehow “less capable” than the other, be it the wife or husband. Statistically, because we are still burdened with the holdovers of a patriarchal society, the majority of ex-spouses collecting alimony are women. Empirically, many of these women have shown a burgeoning acumen for gaming the system, creating a pseudo-welfare state as mentioned previously. (Most state universities have a law library online; research some cases to observe this phenomena.) It is ludicrous to allow an ex-wife more rights than a current wife, for instance, or to in any way expect a new spouse to be responsible for his/her current spouse’s ex-spouse’s support. Frankly, it seems like the courts insist on this hypocrisy in order to lessen the potential financial burden on the state. This can and has resulted in false accusations being made against the supporting spouse in order to gain the Court’s favor in the hope of gaining even more support. In truth, without the incentive to be self-supporting, ongoing or permanent alimony turns many otherwise bright, capable women into parasites. Based on the original post, I would say that children and child support are an entirely separate matter. As a wife who has been party to her husband’s ordeal with his ex-wife and the pretentious, inconsistent methodology exhibited in the family court system, I do feel that anything but rehabilitative alimony for a finite time will inevitably do more harm than good to all parties concerned in the matter.

    In the interest of transparency, I have been married once before. I quit work after we were married as he already had a career he loved and I was headed back to school. After we married, he wanted to have children and I insisted that we wait until we both had steady work after I graduated. We were divorced after a year. I had no job but I did not ask the Court for alimony. I asked my ex-husband to provide $500.00 for one year, no more no less, and he did without a Court forcing him to do so. Children are a choice (at least in most states); be accountable for your choices and don’t use the children as “golden tickets” or a means to gain sympathy. My mother had a career and eventually her own business, all while raising me on her own with no support from my father. This notion that it is always an “either-or” situation for most women; either a career earning money or a career tending to the home and children, is archaic and undermines the credibility of women in the workforce and as perfectly competent, intelligent human beings capable of independence.

    We don’t raise our children to be dependent on someone for the rest of their lives, so why should we expect to rely on another adult to support us indefinitely? This speaks to the norm, not the exceptions. However, I’d like to point out that, of the two disabled individuals I’ve known, one severely handicapped and the other riddled with mental illness, both relied on government programs to provide for their healthcare and livelihood, and BOTH still worked as a matter of integrity, to support themselves as much as possible and improve their own quality of life. Emma’s post speaks to the norm, not the exceptions, and it is a very disappointing and regrettable norm given how hard women have fought for equality. Equality doesn’t just mean equal opportunity and equal pay, but equal responsibility and accountability for one’s actions, choices and mistakes.

  2. Sara on March 15, 2019 at 10:03 am

    This is a very tough subject. Personally, I have been a single mom for many years with my ex paying child support only… no alimony. He took me back to court for a reduction which the court granted with no questions asked. They didn’t even consider that he was married and had a second income and I did not at the time.
    Fast forward to 2019, I did get married and my husband pays alimony to his ex. I accepted this and we have not had any issues with it until he had to go back for a modification due to his ex receiving a 30% pay increase in salary and new laws. The judge would not even consider his case and actually said because he is remarried and his ex is not. The judge actually considered looking at my income to determine his ability to pay her. I was shocked. That was not considered in my child support case but with alimony for someone healthy, 15 years work exp, gainfully employed, and no children in college or under 18, it was considered. The system is very flawed and is very similar to the wealth fare system. Keep giving them money and food stamps and they will never be independent. We actually considered leaving the US to get away from this terribly corrupt system.

  3. Mike on January 5, 2019 at 11:45 am

    Men think very carefully about a prenup before you marry if you marry!

    • Tildy on February 13, 2019 at 5:51 pm

      Is anyone thinking about the children . If mom is now working who is taking care of these children. Who???

  4. Melissa on October 26, 2018 at 8:33 am

    My fiancée ultimately lost a six figure job because he had a mental breakdown . He’s suffered depression for years. He had to pay65 percent of his pay and his military retirement to his ex wife. He earned a bronze star and has PTSD . She refuses to negotiate. She has a degree but won’t work . It’s a sad situation . The kids are constantly put in the middle.

  5. Kentucky needs justice on September 9, 2018 at 7:13 pm

    Amen sister! There are cases throughout our country of women who are more than capable (yes, even disabled) of taking care of themselves yet stealing from their ex partner because they don’t want to take responsibility for themselves. Judges should be held accountable for using (abusing) their power in providing alimony for anything other than rehabilitation as a woman (or man) gets themselves back on their feet. I’m watching from the wings as my state is not progressive in making fair, equitable decisions with alimony (maintenance) guidelines

  6. Liz on September 6, 2018 at 5:35 am

    Love your book and everything you stand for. I am about to file for divorce. We agree on mostly everything. He’s a great dad. Pays for most kid related things. At times bc of private school and their activities the monthly sum can be anywhere between 6-13k. We both do very well. He makes 3x more than me. I don’t need his money, but I also didn’t ask for this divorce. I told him I will not pursue all that I am legally entitled to, but that I may ask for some alimony bc he chose this and basically he can do whatever he wants but my life revolves around the kids and I can’t just do whatever. But truly I don’t need it. For the sake of amicablility Should I forgo it? He also has shares in a business that generates a substantial monthly income. I was informed I am entitled to half of that. I just want to be divorced but I also don’t want to be stupid. Not sure what to do.

  7. Abolish Alimony on June 21, 2018 at 2:24 pm

    Great article, need more on this subject. Alimony is slavery for anyone – men or women – and shall be abolished. Keep up the good work!

  8. Lisa on November 14, 2017 at 1:24 pm

    I can understand your position about alimony. It really bothers me that the courts which I believe are mostly male and the Women in these courts mostly are coming from a place that us ordinary women do not have their advantage. I did have a great career I helped my husband through college, I helped my family, I even taught some family members my job and they all prospered. the economy and the job went to be computerized, I worked till I gave birth to my 3 child. my 4th child came into the world a little needy but I took a part time job at a grocery store because I had no responsibility and I could call out when ever I wanted to. I went on family leave when he became very ill. eventually I was terminated and wasn’t eligible for unemployment. my son is now improving now 2 and a half years later. improvement has only started about 6 months ago.
    to know my husband hides all his money. I go food shopping and he just transfers that exact amount to cover the check. I don’t get my hair done, nails done I take care of 4 kids and it angers me that that does not count as work. I not only deserve alimony I deserve to keep my home. THAT I WORKED MY BUTT OFF taking care of for 27 years. we are just starting to talk divorce. he says I should leave and he will take care of the kids. sounds like he is doing his homework unbeknown to me. I know I am not alone. he hides all his money. I see nothing. I would love a good paying job but that’s not happening for me. I live in a prison!!!

    • Caren on March 22, 2018 at 1:26 pm

      I’m sorry for your reality, but you made a choice to have 4 children. I grew up in a large family and would have loved to have a big family of my own. However, I knew it would be difficult to maintain a full-time job and provide for a gaggle of kids, so I stopped at 2. It doesn’t sound like you planned for the contingencies described in this article. It bothers me to think you actually believe you deserve a house and income simply because you worked hard taking care of the kids you brought into this world, some of whom must be adults by now.

      • Tam on June 1, 2018 at 10:11 am

        I agree with Caren on this. I left the military for my husband and subsequently developed a disorder that made holding work extremely difficult. I do receive VA benefits for this but it’s not enough to live off of so I have struggled but it can be done. In the meantime, my husband was making about 4 times the money I made while I was in. We did not have children together. When we divorced, I refused to ask for alimony even though the judge seemed to be pushing me towards it (when he found out the reason for my current unemployment, he kept asking me if I knew my “rights”, and that I could stop the proceedings at any point, and if we continued, that I was not eligible in the future for any of my ex’s assets). I wanted nothing other than to get out of an abusive relationship, and taking the man’s money would not put me in a very good position to take care of myself. I am currently living with a roommate and my lifestyle is FAR less extravagant than it used to be, but I am glad I did this and would rather struggle than take money from my ex.

        It has definitely not been easy finding work with the disorder I have either. But being married to someone does not automatically give you rights to that person’s money, and it upsets me that there are so many women out there who believe it does. My ex was a hard worker, despite his other faults, and I personally did not set myself up for success because I didn’t try harder to find work when I had the chance. Now I must live with the consequences, but I will not subject him to paying me HIS hard-earned money (yes, HIS) simply because I didn’t try harder to adapt and overcome. If I am successful in the future it will be because I did so and not because I was dependent on some male.

        Also, we had a name in the military for the wives/ex wives who leeched off their husbands: “dependa”, short for “dependapotomous”. Don’t be that guy/girl (yes, males can be dependas too).

        • Emma on June 1, 2018 at 10:47 am

          I love you and everything you stand for! Thank you for sharing your journey — one one full of integrity. Simply by living you are changing the world.

  9. Tamara on September 21, 2017 at 9:57 pm

    I think that this was a very interesting article, but as some of the other posters said, Alimony is different for everyone, and everyone’s situation is unique. Although court ordered, my ex has not paid one cent of alimony even though he has the means to do so. He left me for another woman, taking all of our assets (which I helped create because I always worked) and put them into her name and the names of some her family members, and hide them in another country. It took special accountants, CPA’s, attorneys and $30,000 to find only find half of the money. This caused enormous stress for me and my children. Although, some of the funds were recouped and I was awarded those, the alimony payments have never been paid. This is pure greed on his part, and he should pay his alimony. But going back to court is useless he will never do it. It’s great when women can start fresh and make a decent living, for themselves and their children, but not every situation was like yours. I have known women who have suffered financial abuse, where the husband doesn’t allow them access to any money even though they work full time and have always worked full time, or women who supported their men while the husbands got MBA’s or PHD’s, or women who took wonderful care of His elderly parents. Or as in my case when a partner is hiding assets, these woman all deserve alimony! Alimony is not one size fits all, please do not treat it as such!

    • Emma on September 22, 2017 at 7:17 am

      Is your argument that women SHOULD count on alimony? Because that didn’t work for you for the reasons cited in this post!

      • Maya Madison on January 26, 2019 at 5:21 am

        I feel as though this post was super judgemental instead of being open and aware that many situations vary. There are a lot of “you should’s“ and i think it’s bullsht. Especially if someone comes to this site in the midst of divorce and is looking for some compassionate explanation but instead receive this righteous, privileged direction that MOST women are unable to take. It actually makes me sick.

        • Emma Johnson on January 27, 2019 at 3:05 pm

          Actually, alimony is almost entirely received by affluent white women.

    • Susanne on February 27, 2019 at 9:15 am

      Tamara I fully agree with you since your post describes exactly my situation.
      Emma your reply is not addressing the post at all.

  10. Tarah A Aanerud on May 14, 2016 at 11:14 am

    You are not being open minded about Alimony it’s not a ” one size fits problem” and you have not even thought of all situations. I am from Family Farm/Business Divorce, that I was married for 18 years, with 4 children. We both lived on farms before the marriage and in fact I married at 18 and I signed on to $400,000 joint debt for our new marriage forced by the bank to sustain the farm. WE and I emphasize WE grew the Business Together doing whatever it took. That is what most people do, otherwise why bother getting married, just live together. I was in the field running any of the equipment and did whatever I could at all hours whenever I could and alot of times with kids strapped in car seats in the tractors or combines. I also handled all the bookkeeping. This was not a routine or easy life and my ex was not a hands on dad. We both wanted the 4 children we had, but he always wanted more, even though I did majority of the child rearing. This was because he refused to stay at home with the kids when it was necessary as 4 toddlers dont always work with large equipment and I asked to switch spots and run a tractor or whatever else, as that would have been way more peaceful, but he always refused. It was a sacrifice I had to do for the best interest of the children, the altenative would be fighting about who got to be in the tractor all the time. Farmlife was not about me running to fun events all the time ever, especially living 35 miles out. But I loved it just as much as my ex husband loved it and we tripled the farm business operation in our 18 year marriage. We also increased the debt load, but we had plenty of income to service it. We were building our children a legacy and farm business. We went to court and I Did Not want Alimony or Child Support I wanted and asked for my half of the Farm Business in court, I even offered shared custody. My ex said he didn’t want shared custody and wanted me to be the primary caregiver and that was mediated before court. He used that to his advantage telling the judge I shouldn’t get my half the farm because I had to raise the 4 children. I ended up not getting my half of the very profitable farm and was supposedly debt free, he was getting the farm with the debt. But guess what, there is no Judge that can make a bank take my name off his debt. So after the property was awarded, I had to go to court again asking for alimony and child support, because now I was in a situation where he received 92% of the income producing assets and I received 8% and he still hadn’t refinanced the court ordered debt and all my property was still tied to the mortgages as collateral. I did get an order for child support which is a joke because MN has a cap on income for child support, so my kids standard of living had to go way down, as their narcissistic father now could buy whatever he selfishly wanted with the remainder. I also ended up with Alimony for 10 years. My alimony is 30% of his income after he pays it and the previous divorce debt load payments that my name is still tied to. Now it has been 2 years, and he still has not refinanced. I have been told as long as he makes the payments and he is holding me harmless, its no big deal. I disagree as all my supposedly debt free properties are still tied to his debt so I can not move forward and reinvest any of it and try and build back a farm for myself, and am stuck being dependant on this unwanted, but forced to need, minimal alimony, compared to his income now. I would switch places with my ex any day and be the one paying him the alimony. I don’t get that choice.

    • Emma on May 16, 2016 at 4:00 pm

      You and your ex owned a business together, which is not the most common situation (any more) and is treated separate from the marital assets — you should get your equity in the business separately from child support or alimony. Talk to another lawyer and get your name off that debt!

    • Emma on November 14, 2016 at 6:41 am

      Do I know you personally? As I’ve written, my kids got child support for one year, and I excused tens of dollars of arrears and have been doing this totally solo financially for five years, including buying my ex out of our apartment, which granted him $80,000, and I also chose to forgive the $25,000 401k transfer he legally owes me. Best wishes.

    • majid on August 24, 2017 at 4:05 am

      The **purpose of alimony** is to limit any unfair economic effects of a divorce. my ex-wife is a manager of a company , she earns $10,000 more than me .she remarried and is receiving alimony and assets from me and my ex + her income i am paying all in a severe economical situation.as a woman you can get your man’s assets and alimony forever.

  11. Johanna on September 8, 2015 at 3:56 pm

    I was stay at home mother and wife to a man that made a very good livog but worked around the clock. His work schedule and career path made the choice for me to stay home with the kids an easy one. We both had very demanding and stressful jobs. Mine at home with three small children and his outside of the home working long hours. I did everything at home, with little to no support. In the end he left me as I was starting a brand new career in real estate. My youngest was 1 at the time and I couldn’t stand being home anymore. He is paying my bills for the first five years of our split. The kids and I have not had to change our lifeste and rightfully so. When you are in a partnership and you divide the daily responsibilities and you split, you don’t split equally. I put my life into his career in the form of taking care of his home and children and I will be damned if I’m in poverty because HE decided HE changed his mind one day. I have alimony for five years and plan on investing in my real estate business and coming out on top in that time frame. Things would have been a lot different in the absence of alimony. If I didn’t have kids it would be completely different.

    • Emma on September 10, 2015 at 8:52 am

      And what would you do if your husband a) were not forced to pay alimony, b) could not pay it? If he weren’t so affluent you would never have taken the risk to leave your livlihood and made sure you were financially secure by maintaining your career.

    • Myrna on June 27, 2017 at 1:04 pm

      I’m with you Johanna!

    • majid on August 24, 2017 at 4:03 am

      The **purpose of alimony** is to limit any unfair economic effects of a divorce. my ex-wife is a manager of a company , she earns $10,000 more than me .she remarried and is receiving alimony and assets from me and my ex + her income i am paying all in a severe economical situation.as a woman you can get your man’s assets and alimony forever.

  12. Susan Ilkov-Moor on November 22, 2014 at 7:49 pm

    I find this article irrelevant and disappointingly so. I am a wealthy single mom, previously married to a “stay at home dad” an artist and a leach. A man who was told for 5 years to get back to work by me, my financial planner and my accountant. He thought his job was maxing our credit cards, and he feels very entitled to alimony. I want to know what to do in this situation.
    If you are a wealth single mom, you don’t have to concern yourself with alimony for yourself! Where do I go to have discussion about being the female breadwinner and leaving because we married a dud and then stayed for 10 years after we realized it ???

    Thanks so much!!

    • Emma on November 24, 2014 at 7:55 am

      Says my family lawyer friend Morghan Richardson:
      “She needs to find an aggressive lawyer. She needs to collect and document his BS about not working or needing to work. Anything that shows he could work but won’t will help her.”

    • Robin on February 14, 2015 at 5:39 pm

      Welcome to a man’s unfair role/ world… Pay your ex to keep up his lifestyle… Lol women want equal rights until they have to do equal workload or anything else that men are put through and have to do in our daily lives!….funny everybody wants accrual or more but never wants to do the work or sacrifice the sacrifices that are made for that title of man

      • ROBERT THOMAS GALBRAITH on December 10, 2018 at 1:35 pm

        These exact words above should be written in the Webster Dictionary under the definition of “Female Rights”……I call it the price of legal prostitution.

    • majid on August 24, 2017 at 4:02 am

      The **purpose of alimony** is to limit any unfair economic effects of a divorce. my ex-wife is a manager of a company , she earns $10,000 more than me .she remarried and is receiving alimony and assets from me and my ex + her income i am paying all in a severe economical situation.as a woman you can get your man’s assets and alimony forever.

    • Jennifer Nodine on March 17, 2019 at 3:10 pm

      That, madam, is what you call a good problem to have. Pay the beast to go away. This is how you can easily free yourself from a bad situation and a huge legal battle that will cost you more in the end. Don’t try running to court in princilples because they often have nothing to do with the law. If you are wealthy, as you say, then you can afford the money, Your pride will mend when you realize you won in the grand scheme of things.

Leave a Comment