My Wife Earns More Than I Do: What Rights Do I Have

Men often believe that they don't have the same rights as women during a divorce. While the law is suppose to be gender neutral, their still is bias even if it is not spoken. Do women have a leg up in custody disputes, yes, but often because they are the parent that stays home and raises the children. But what happens when the father stays home and the wife has the career? What happens when the wife significantly out earns her husband? Will the courts look at a father who does not work differently from a mother that has not worked?

Many judges and law clerks will agree that a father that has stayed home so that the wife's career can flourish should receive spousal support. The question then becomes for how long and how much. If the father had a career prior to raising the children the same questions ought to be asked: how long will it take to get back into the field, what earnings are reasonably expected, what additional education is needed and how will the children's needs be met. There has been a developing trend to impute income to mother's that are capable of working and choose not to and so, for sure, that trend will be applied to men.

If the wife has retirement benefits it is far easier to have the court provide that the husband receives his share of the marital portion whether it is a pension or deferred compensation. Obtaining equitable distribution of retirement benefits regardless of gender has become standard. Yet it is still difficult to obtain spousal support for a husband. This needs to be corrected.

Without a doubt much more work needs to be done to make the courts fairer for father's in custody disputes as well as spousal support. Each time the courts are confronted with these issues, progress can be made with good, strong and effective legal representation. Please call my office if you are facing these problems so that we can help you protect your rights and be treated fairly.

Steven P. Kuhn, Attorney at Law
Suffolk County Divorce Lawyer
Located at
5225 Route 347, Building 7, Suite 37
Port Jefferson Station, NY 11776.

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