Alimony is awarded in divorce cases in which one spouse earns more money per year than the other, in order to ensure the spouse with smaller earnings can maintain a standard of living to which they have become accustomed. Historically, alimony has been awarded more often to women than men, but in modern-day Illinois, as around the nation, this is beginning to change. More men are seeking alimony in divorce settlements, but they are facing considerable challenges along the way.


According to statistics, 97 percent of alimony requests are awarded to women on a nation-wide scale, but there may be several reasons why men do not make up a larger percentage of this number. First of all, there are considerable social pressures keeping men from asking: many men feel asking their spouse for money is shameful or embarrassing. It is also true that even in the modern era, men still comfortably outpace women in terms of yearly earnings in most fields.

However, many men are making different career and family choices than they have in the past. Some men have decided to pull back on time spent on their career in the interest of spending more time with family; others have chosen to be stay-at-home parents. When a divorce is filed, the standard of living for these men can change drastically, making alimony an important factor in the proceedings.


Alimony, like most aspects of divorce, can be complicated by emotions or simple finances. It can benefit both members of a divorcing couple to learn the laws and responsibilities associated with alimony in Illinois before they choose to file for divorce. Learning the facts ahead of time can be a powerful step toward a swift, equitable divorce.


Source:, “Man’s Sacrifices Not Recognized During Divorce,” Gary White, June 8, 2013