Do only men support alimony reform?

There has been something of a movement in Massachusetts over the years to reform alimony laws. Though alimony technically can be paid by either higher-earning spouse, regardless of gender, the cliche is that men most often have to pay and women most often receive it. As such, when people talk about reforming the laws, it’s easy to assume that men would be pushing for reform so that they didn’t have to pay as much, while women would be against it. But is this realistically true?

According to Steve Hitner, it’s not. Hitner started a group called Massachusetts Alimony Reform, trying to change the laws. He did this after he couldn’t afford his own alimony payments to his ex-wife. He tried to modify the payments and couldn’t get them altered, so he decided he had to focus on the laws instead.

Hitner claims that many of the people who have rallied to his cause have actually been women. He says they are usually women who have married divorced men, and they are unhappy because their new husbands are paying their ex-wives, thus detracting from the new family unit’s overall income–and thus their own income levels.

Plus, these women point out that the aging alimony laws–which have since been changed–often did not consider whether or not the ex wife was living with someone new. This meant she could still get payments even if she was now better off financially than she had been before.

As this shows, there are many sides to consider when looking at alimony, and it’s important to know how the reforms and new alimony laws seek a fair arrangement.

Source: The Daily Beast, “Is Alimony Anti-Feminist?,” Keli Goff, accessed May 13, 2016