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Alimony by Gender

DFields@fishbeinpa.com,   Family Law   Leave a Comment

The majority of alimony cases involving divorcing couples involve husbands paying alimony to their wives. A recent unreported case from the Court of Special Appeals Walter E. Buck v. Gabriel B. Buck demonstrates that a female with substantially more income and assets than her husband may be required to pay alimony. In Buck the Court of Special Appeals upheld an award of 18 months of rehabilitative alimony and denied the husband indefinite alimony even though the wife’s assets and income were substantially greater than the husband. The wife’s income and assets were solely as a result of inherited property which consisted of two trusts. The husband inBuck argued that he should be awarded indefinite alimony given the disparity in assets between the parties and the disparity in income. However, the Court of Special Appeals noted that a mere disparity of income is insufficient to justify an award of alimony. In Buck the Court of Special Appeals upheld a period of 18 months of rehabilitative alimony because the husband quit his job earning $75,000.00 per year three weeks before the trial to accept a one year scholarship to get a master’s degree in agriculture which would enable him to earn more income. Thus the award of the 18 months of rehabilitative alimony was felt by the court to be sufficient to allow the husband to complete his education and increase his income.

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