Do I Have to Pay Alimony if I Make More Money than My Husband?


When alimony, also known as maintenance or spousal support, was created more than a century ago, the family role of most women was to stay at home and take care of the children. Due to the lack of work and academic experience, a divorce resulted in a financial blow to women. Thus, alimony was established to help them maintain a reasonable standard of living once the marriage ended.

Fortunately, things have significantly changed for the better over the last few decades. More and more women are now the financial leaders of their families, working as executives, doctors, politicians, and careers that warrant a high income. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, one out of four women in heterosexual marriages makes more than their husbands.

So when it comes to divorce, do breadwinner wives have to pay alimony to their soon-to-be-ex-husbands?

The answer: Yes.

The truth is that gender doesn’t make a difference in spousal support. The main purpose of alimony is to help the lower income spouse get back on his/her feet.

For example, if your husband stayed at home and took care of the children while you worked, it could take weeks or months for him to find a job. Furthermore, he may need to go back to college or obtain job training to become self-supporting.

In Nevada, the court will consider the following factors when determining alimony:

  1. The length of the marriage
  2. The income and earning capacity of each spouse
  3. The financial condition of each spouse
  4. The age and health of each spouse
  5. The standard of living throughout the marriage
  6. The dependent spouse’s career prior to the marriage

Essentially, the longer the marriage and the more money you make compared to your husband, the more likely you have to pay him every month when the divorce is finalized. Although paying alimony to your ex-husband will be disheartening, you are in a strong financial position to properly adjust to the next chapter of your life.

If you are interested in filing for divorce in Nevada, contact our Henderson divorce lawyers at Ford & Friedman today.

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