Historically, when men were the predominant “breadwinners” in a typical family, it was often the case that, in a divorce, the husband would pay what is known as spousal support to the wife. Spousal support is a financial help that recognizes a spouse’s contribution to the marriage and helps the recipient achieve financial independence. However, times have certainly changed, and women are just as likely to be bringing home the majority of money as their male counterparts.

What is great about spousal support, amongst many things, is the fact that it is designed to be gender neutral, as to not set a standard of one gender paying the other, but instead to make it about the total income. So, it is more than likely that the husband can receive spousal support from his soon-to-be ex-wife, depending on other factors, such as the duration of the marriage.

Other reasons a court might grant spousal support is if the spouse receiving the support is disabled or is unable to work. The courts are very aware that some spouses may claim they are not able to get a job, or purposely leave a high-paying job for a lesser one in the hopes of not only avoiding paying support but instead being granted with alimony. Likewise, you cannot choose to be unemployed and expect just to receive support; it exists solely for the spouse who not only need it but are separating from someone who can, quite literally, afford to pay the support.

It should be noted, however, that spousal support does not extend to every expense. For example, just because a spouse has been awarded spousal support, it doesn’t mean that the “paying spouse” must also take on their legal expenses. Having to pay for your spouse’s legal fees is usually a punishment leveled by the court, not something that is usually earned. The courts tend to think that each party is responsible for choosing an attorney who is within their means.