Not long ago, it was assumed that during divorce, the children went with the mother, and if alimony was to be issued, it was reserved only to wives. While that may have made sense many decades ago because women traditionally were not the breadwinners in the family, the times have changed drastically. Not only do fathers have equal rights to child custody, but husbands also have equal rights to alimony.

Women in the Workplace

Alimony was traditionally reserved for women because sexism in society made it difficult to impossible for many women to succeed in the workforce, particularly in employment that could fully support a family. A look back on the times, compared to today, shows why Oklahoma laws have changed to allow alimony for men as well as women. According to the U.S. Department of Labor:

  • Women make up almost half (just under 47 percent) of the workforce in 2016;
  • 70 percent of mothers work, and 75 percent of mothers who work are employed full time;
  • In 40 percent of households with children, mothers are the sole or primary earners, versus just 11 percent in 1960;
  • 34 percent of women have earned a bachelor’s degree by the age of 29, versus just 26 percent of men at that age; and
  • 40 percent of women in the workforce have college degrees today, versus just 11 percent in 1970.

Why Don’t Men Receive Alimony Very Often?

Only three percent of all alimony awards were given to men, according to the Huffington Post. Men are much less likely to be awarded alimony, due in part to the gender wage gap that still plagues every state. For example, full time working white women still only earn 79 cents to the dollar earned by full time working white men, whereas black women earn just 67 cents and Hispanic women only earn 54 cents to the dollar, according to Huffington Post and the National Partnership for Women and Families. And, full time working white women with children are ‘punished’ while full time working white men are ‘rewarded’ when analyzing average salaries ($744 per week versus $962 per week, showing 77 cents on the dollar instead of 79 cents), according to Business Insider. However, men are still receiving alimony at such a lower rate than women that there must be something else at play other than gender wage gap. Men are simply less likely to ask for alimony due to societal norms. However, alimony is a valuable tool to help get oneself back on their feet after divorce and create a better life through education and vocational training, regardless of gender.

Contact a Tulsa Attorney Today

To learn more about your options, do not hesitate to contact a Tulsa family law attorney. Call the Tulsa law offices McAllister, Aldridge & Kreinbrink today for help.