Only about 3 percent of people who pay alimony are women, but those women are usually really, really angry about it. Typically, the women are angry about his low- or no-earning during the marriage, disgusted with his spending habits, and aghast she must now support him after the marriage is over. In this episode, I offer my top advice for dealing with the reality of paying your ex each month. Tips include:
- Prioritize coming to peace with the situation.
- Stop talking about it.
- Minimize interaction, and find ways to pay him in a lump sum, automatically, or a few times annually.
- Accept that this is the price you had to pay to get out of a bad relationship.
- Ask your ex to fund the kids’ college savings plans.
- If you truly cannot afford your current lifestyle while making these payments, downgrade your lifestyle.
- Remember that alimony and child support were huge, wonderful feminist coups.
- Focus on how your kids benefit from this payment — and how you benefit by default.
- Peel away the layers of the resentment, which are rooted in what happened during the relationship.
- To be part of the solution for other families, find the advocates for alimony reform in your state, and get involved.
- Celebrate that alimony was a huge feminist win, and that you now pay is part of a long continuum in the gender equality revolution.
- If you truly believe you are paying too much, weigh carefully the costs of revisiting the issue legally, and do your best to approach this as a practical process, and not an emotional one.
- Never tie time with your children to payments. In some states, child support payments are calculated based on how much time the kids spend with one or the other payment.
- Hard as it, do not threatened to stop paying your ex.
- Refocus your rage into fuel for earning more. In most states, child support and alimony payments are capped.
- Remember: Everything is temporary.
Alimony? Just say no.
What do you think? Are you a woman who pays alimony to your ex? How do you feel about it? What did you do to contend with it? Share your advice to other women in the comments….
Emma Johnson is a veteran money journalist, noted blogger, bestselling author and an host of the award-winning podcast, Like a Mother with Emma Johnson. 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.