A judge in the South American country of Argentina recently ruled that one ex-wife should receive $179,000 as a lump-sum alimony award from her former husband. The woman who is set to receive this amount spent all 27 years that she was married to her ex caring for their shared house and kids. This judge's award has made many here in the United States question how we should value the work of a homemaking spouse.
When a Kissimmee couple divorces, it's not uncommon for a breadwinning husband or wife and their stay-at-home parent spouse to fight over alimony.
It's especially common for them to do so since the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) went into effect earlier this year. Once it did, paying spouses in Florida and across the country stopped being able to deduct their alimony from their pre-tax income -- which gave them less reason to be generous with their support.
Paying spouses have for years fought to keep their spousal support obligations low. They've downplayed their lifestyles or careers, hidden assets and done other things to make it seem like they have fewer prospects or inferior means. They do this to convince a judge to order them to pay less alimony.
They've even taken aim at their exes saying that they shouldn't receive anything because they didn't contribute to the household's finances.
The recent ruling in Argentina has worldwide implications. It sends the message that just because a stay-at-home parent isn't receiving an actual paycheck, what they do is critical for keeping the family happy and healthy. It shows that there's value to a mom or dad staying home and caring for the children or taking care of the errands. By doing that, it frees up the other parent, their spouse, to focus on growing their career.
There are many factors that a Florida judge will consider when determining a proper award of alimony of maintenance. They'll take into account how long the marriage lasted, the physical health and age of the spouses and the standard of living you both shared. They'll also weigh the financial contribution each of you made during the marriage.
An alimony attorney can help you paint a more clear picture of your value as a stay-at-home parent to get you the support you deserve.