Give Me My Money, Honey: Should Women be Forced to Pay Their Ex-Husbands Alimony?

May 1, 2012  |  

So allegedly Seal is looking for an even split in the marriage.

According to Bossip;

“HEIDI KLUM’s divorce from SEAL is erupting into an ugly battle as the “Kiss From a Rose” singer prepares to go after a huge chunk of her $70 million fortune, say sources. The 38-year-old supermodel filed for divorce April 6, stating they have a post-nuptial agreement, which means they agreed to keep their assets completely separate during their marriage. But Seal has struck back, filing his own documents that make no mention of their post-nup, yet note that California is a community property state — which could entitle him to half of the beauty’s megabucks. “Even though they may have had a post-nuptial agreement, it appears that Seal is going to challenge it,” said a legal strategist. “If he is successful, it could mean big bucks for him in their divorce.

Man, it sure does suck to be married in California.

I kid of course (but then I don’t) however whenever a celebrity divorce makes the pages of a gossip magazines, the discussion that immediately follows involves debate over spousal support and alimony and who deserves what and how much. Interestingly enough, the debate usually centers on some high-profiled celebrity man and his low-profile wife. Public discussion about what should become of communal property generally splits among gender lines: men folk will say, “Why does Kobe’s wife get half? She didn’t win any championships!” Whereas the women will strike back, “Vanessa is entitled to half because she raised the children, held the household down and spent years standing by his side through all his extra-martial affairs.”

All legitimate points but what happens when the breadwinner of the celebrity couple happens to be a woman? Well than that is a whole different story there. Most of the reaction I’ve seen centered on women calling Seal a dirt bag loser for wanting his slice of the matrimony pie. While the men folk, who once were so adamant against spousal support, suddenly have a change of heart and sympathy for the plight of the househusband.

Aside from the Kiss from a Rose song, which I only know from the Batman movie, I can’t recall another song from Seal -but I heard/read he has sold more than 20 million albums.  And I, and perhaps a few others, haven’t really heard anything professional from the Nigerian/Brazilian singer besides being the arm piece to his much more famous and financially astute wife, who has managed to flip her modeling career into a successful reality TV show, among other things.  According to Forbes, Klum has earned $20 million in the last year alone, making her the second-highest paid model.  So it would make sense that is spousal support is coming, Seal would be the recipient, yet folks still have a hard time accepting it.

Westernized, traditionally speaking, men have been the prime breadwinner in the household, therefore the ruler of the family. He was responsible for management of all marital property including his wife, who depended on him to provide her sustenance.  Therefore alimony came about to ensure that the wife was taken care of after divorce. Remember in the old times, women could not own property outside of a Singer sewing machine.

So if a woman’s husband left her, there was a strong possibility that she would be destined to extreme poverty and be literally penniless in the streets.

But times have indeed changed and as we enter the second or third wave of feminism, we are beginning to see a significant number of women, not only reaching financial equality with men, but in some cases, surpassing the opposite gender on the salary scale.  According to a study by the Pew Charitable Trust, 22 percent of men made less money than their wives in 2010 – an 18 percent increase since the 1970s. In some instances, these new financial achievements for women have also been accompanied by gender role reversals in marriages where the woman is outside the home, grinding for the bacon, while the man rears the children and takes care of the homestead.

But like most marriages in the United States, there is a high chance that they will head to divorce. And with that comes more men seeking alimony from their much wealthier spouses. Consider former 98 Degree singer, Nick Lachey, who sought – and was eventually denied – spousal support from ex-wife pop singer Jessica Simpson.  And then there was Janet Jackson, who had to pay her ex hubby Rene Elizondo $15 million, give him the couple’s Mercedes and their five-bedroom Malibu beachfront home.  Not to mention Kirstie Alley, Madonna and Britney Spears all were court-ordered to cough up money each month to…ahem…maintain their ex-hubby’s lavish lifestyles.

As many women in America can go to college, own our own homes and earn big bucks in the corporate world just like men, they can also end up paying their partners hundreds to even thousands of dollars a month in alimony, just like men. Unfortunately it’s the gift and the curse of independence and equality. I,for one, am not in favor of ending spousal support. Despite the advancement in gender equality (at least the ability of a woman to live independently), there are some women – and men – who really need it and had a previous agreement with their spouse that they would stay home and raise the children/tend house. But as we all know, not everyone who gets spousal support necessarily deserves it. Some folks are just looking for a meal ticket. But that’s why it is important that folks, especially folks of means, understand that when you take the vows to spend your entire life with someone, it means the house, the car and the bank accounts too. If not, well you better learn from Klum’s mistake and get a pre-nup. Oh yeah, women qualify for those too.

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  • Lisa Brown

    Yes, women should have to pay alimony to men. They asked for/received equal rights. You can’t have it both ways. THE REAL PROBLEM IS LIFETIME ALIMONY. It should only be long enough until the spouse can get back on their feet 1-5 years max. And you should never have to pay more than someone needs to be reasonably comfortable (not rich) ! You only have to support a child until they are 18. Why would you support an adult, NOT TO BE CONFUSED with child support. This is nothing more than ADULT WELFARE, only worse, because welfare only lasts for 3 years. I am a woman affected by permanent alimony, as my fiance pays it FOR LIFE, and he is a disabled vet– and this children are adults. I know plenty of women who pay alimony in the state of NJ. This is not just in CA. Lifetime Alimony still exists in:

    AL, AR, CA, CT, FL, GA, KY, MD, NC, NJ, OR, RI, VA, VT, WI

  • Ali Whiting

    The author states that they are in favor of alimony. ALL alimony reform activists are in favor of alimony. We merely seek to have term limits and guidelines established to obtain fairness and consistency in awards. Poorly worded comments in articles merely muddy the water and assist in perpetuating alimony myths. Another example- alimony is awarded in childless marriages. It is also awarded when both parties worked throughout their marriage. Based on this article, a reader may be misled into believing that only stay at home parents are awarded alimony, which is completely incorrect and is a common misconception. When an author chooses to publicly express their opinion on a topic, they should at least do SOME research before writing an article. An author should do their best to ensure their article enhances the reader’s knowledge rather than perpetuates myths and stereotypes.

  • FStubbs

    I don’t see a problem with it. Divorce sucks but yes, in cases where the husband makes significantly less, the wife should pay alimony. 

  • Fahanm

    Come on, you have only heard of “Kiss from a Rose”. Seal is a critically acclaimed artist internationally. I guess if one is not a flash in the pan mega pop star in the states it doesn’t count. While Heidi was building her reality tv /jewelry line clothing empire he slowed down to support her behind the scenes while 4 young children were taking priority. Intentions were for the future of their family together. He deserves every penny. There is more to this store on her part than the public is led to believe.

  • L-Boogie

    This sounds foolish.  Let that ish go.

  • L-Boogie

    Um, I hate to say this but I used to be all about trust.  However, after seeing how dirty men can be.  I would never get married without a prenup.  I hope Heidi does not lose everything in the divorce.  Sometimes it is cheaper to keep him. 

  • Candacey Doris

    I agree that alimony was due…unless the post nuptial said it wasn’t. You can’t agree to keep everything separate and then go back on it. Kobe didn’t have a pre-enup or post nuptial agreement.  Neither did Britney or any of those people you mentioned. These two did. So he needs to put out another album an get his own cash.

  • Waston

     I think the law should be fair for both sexes. If women who earn less than their husbands can get alimony then men who earn less than their wives should get alimony too. If cheating is involved in the marriage the cheater should not get a penny. Alimony should also apply to the spouse who makes less but also has really contributed to the marriage (if you were lazy and did not do your equal part to uphold the marriage then you should not get a penny as well).

  • Mystique

    She looks older than 38.  She looks more like 48. 

  • Mystique

    That’s probably one of the reasons he married her because he knew he would get something out of it should the relationship end; and it has.  So what if she has to pay him alimony?  If it was Seal making all the money he would be forced to pay her.  She’ll go right out and find another black man and he will  profit from her too.  She will be alright. 

  • Jess

    His heart is as ugly as his face how could he even think about doing that especially if she earned her own money and he earned his own money I think it should be against the law cause first of all man is suppose to take care of the women and man who does not work should not eat. In this case he should eat what he only made. 

    • Mystique

      She didn’t care about how he looked.  All she wanted was a “black” man.

      • Candacey Doris

        How do you know that? Did you ask them? Don’t take it there.

        • Mystique

          It’s obvious. She married one didn’t she?

          • Candacey Doris

             Not every white woman that marries a black man has a mandingo fantasy. Is every black woman who marries a white man trying to marry  up or get children with good hair?

            • Lpatt


            • Lpatt


    • Annoyed

      He has lupus; that causes his facial scars.  Next time make a point without being ignorant.  Please and thank you.  

  • IllyPhilly

    Nope, hire a hitman lady!

  • Tajmahal

    i read an article some time ago about the rise of bw having to pay alimony due to the number of bw marrying down has become quit common

    • Mls2698

      Makes sense. If a woman allows a dude to lay around smoking weed and not having a job year after year, she could find herself paying alimony later on. Otherwise called BW marrying down.

  • Cha Cha

    I don’t see why anyone should get alimony if both parties are working, especially if both make more than enough to live comfortably… with that said, if one spouse makes a substantial amount and the other spouse has only been taking care of the house, then I think it’s only fair that they get something, at least until they are able to find employment. You shouldn’t be accustomed to any lifestyle that you, yourself are not paying for… especially in this day and age where people get divorced at the drop of a dime. 


    Yup! I think women should have to pay alimony – all is fair in love and war. 

  • Guest

    Why not?  If he has sole custody of the kids/ his lifestyle would drastically change after the divorce (i.e. he was a stay-at-home dad/she was the main breadwinner/etc.), how would the situation financially be any different if he was a woman instead? 

  • RoyalQueen

    No,ONLY chicks that should pay their husbands for alimony are REALITY stars like(Toya Carter,Sheree,NeNe Leakes,and countless other famous people using their ex-husbands name for fame)who are NOT known for anything…ijs

    • IllyPhilly

       Love it!