AlimonyIf you were a man going through a divorce, would you seek alimony if your wife made more than you? Many men would not, but in a truly equal society perhaps they should.

Some men are starting to. Kim Shamsky is a 47-year-old business owner who pays her ex-husband, a 65-year-old retired Major League Baseball player, thousands per month in temporary spousal support.

A recent article in Forbes includes an interview with Shamsky, who portrays her ex-husband as a whining baby. The article tries hard to make the ex-husband look pathetic, and yet the circumstances are hardly uncommon, except that the roles are reversed. Of course, no one thinks twice about a woman seeking alimony, but a man?

The writer made certain to point out early in the article that “He’s not seeking alimony to help pay for the kids’ birthday parties, since they don’t have children.” If it’s okay for women to seek alimony for themselves, why shouldn’t it be okay for men to do the same?

Here’s how the ex-wife, Shamsky, portrays her husband in the article: “He used to scream and throw tantrums and demand more money…. It was like he thought, ‘Hey, you have money, why shouldn’t I?”

Shamsky admits she’s angry about paying her ex-husband spousal support mostly because he’s a man. After all, men are supposed to be breadwinners, not bread takers.

“A real man just wouldn’t do this sort of thing,” she says. “Maybe it’s my Italian upbringing, but I don’t think it’s right.”

What is so strange about his demand for alimony? It’s only the fact that he’s a man. It’s okay for women to seek alimony, but men who do the same are considered pathetic.

She adds flatly: “I will never marry again. And I’m getting T-shirts made with the word ‘prenup’ written across the chest.” No bitterness there!

A lot of women are indignant now that the shoe is increasingly on the other foot, says Carol Ann Wilson, a certified financial divorce practitioner in Boulder, Colo. “There’s this sense of, ‘What’s yours is ours, but what’s mine is mine,'” Wilson says. “My first response to that is, ‘All these years we have been looking for equality; well, this is what it looks like.’ I think women get angrier about having to pay than men do.”

This is not an isolated example either. “I’ve seen thousands of clients,” Wilson said in the article, “and almost every time I’ve seen a stay-at-home dad seek alimony, the wife–she’s usually a software executive–goes ballistic.”

There’s a trend developing. Singer Nick Lachey sought spousal support from ex-wife pop singer Jessica Simpson last year, and Parker Stevenson sought $18,000 per month from actress Kirstie Alley when they divorced.

Just as some women object to men’s request for spousal support, some men are particularly uncomfortable seeking it. Either they find it emasculating to ask, or they find the idea of receiving an allowance from their ex-wives humiliating, according to divorce attorneys.

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