Girl – let’s talk about your insane accomplishments thus far.
You’ve gotten yourself out of bed today (check).
You’ve checked all of your emails, social, and even cleaned out your inboxes (we’re jealous – still drowning in spam over here).
You’ve invested in your future by getting some sort of accreditation and are super motivated to disrupt your industry and go full #bossmode.
You’ve established some wealth due to the hard work and grit you’ve slammed into your career (and are showing zero signs of slowing down – except for Fridays when you just pick up take out and binge Bridgerton and House Wives of every location ever).
You’ve established so much dough that you’re now a breadwinner – and that’s no shade to your partner because they knew it was coming based on the groundwork you’ve laid out early in your career.
And you’ve even married the love of your life – and now you’re almost regretting it because you think you’re going to have to get a divorce.
Did we get together too soon?
Should I have really swiped right?
Why didn’t I listen to my gut instinct earlier?
Looking back, there were so many red flags it looked like a damn six flags amusement park on steroids – yet I ignored the signs – and now I’m probably going to pay the price – literally.
Stop – let’s not go down the path of least resistance and harp on why you got yourself in this position – because let’s face it – you’re not the pity party type.
You’re the hard-working, insanely intelligent, tenacious individual who will find a way to get through anything – even if it means a divorce down the line.
Without continuing down the past and going through the woulda, shoulda, couldas, let’s talk about what is going to happen if you and your partner decide to get a divorce, how it will affect you and your earnings as the breadwinner, and what “manimony” you might have to pay out.
What is “Manimony”?
Divorce is flipping the script on gender neutrality – and its conflicting for women like you who are the breadwinners of the marriage.
Thus far, women have earned the right to:
????Serve their country through armed forces
????Pregnant while working (yeah – at one point this was banned..)
????Marry other women
???? And even leave their husbands due to “irreconcilable differences.”
Generations have showed us that women, time and time again, will prevail and become leaders in spaces where males have dominated the space – and divorces are no different.
Alimony – or the traditional pay out during a separation or divorce from a husband to a soon to be ex-wife – was gender specific and did not scan the realm of possibilities that perhaps women could work, acquire wealth, and thus have a means to support themselves (insert “Miss Independent” lyrics by Kelly Clarkson here).
Since 1979, alimony became a gender neutral provision upon divorce – and it’s caused a lot of women to feel super conflicted since it means:
????Divorce is now gender neutral
????And women are going to have to pay out when they are the breadwinners of the marriage
Thus the birth of the street slang term, “manimony,” where men are cashing out on alimony.
Today, the gender neutral term for alimony is “spousal support,” and it addresses the wealth dispersion of a wealthier spouse paying a less wealthier spouse upon separation or divorce. However, manimony is catching a lot of speed as more and more women are paying out manimony.
This is super exciting for women as whole, as more and more women are accumulating wealth and supporting their families financially. It also means that men are able to lighten their careers and increase their time as SAHD (stay at home dad) or even just take a less intensive job to fulfill passion projects or man the home front.
Though the gender neutrality of divorces is exciting, the catch 22 means that the reality that female breadwinners will have to fork out some dough is becoming really, really common.
Exactly how common is “manimony”?
To get a real quote on this, let’s walk through the birth of manimony and it’s history thus far.
In 1979, the ideology shifted as a man challenged alimony and was awarded payments from his wife. The notion that it’s “a man’s responsibility to provide a home and essentials” can no longer hold up in court or discriminate “based on gender.” According to Justice Brennan who ruled in Orr v. Orr, “alimony was to be based on financial need and must be gender-neutral.”
Since then, more and more women are becoming the breadwinners of the family and the numbers have shown no signs of slowing down.
According to the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, 54% of attorneys surveyed have seen an increase in mothers paying child support in the last three years and a 45% uptick in women paying alimony.”
To top if off, in 1960, just 11% of households with children under 18 had mothers who were the breadwinners and in 2013, moms were the primary provider in a record of 40% of families.
More shocking than that, some 32% of single dads who have custody of their kids receive some sort of spousal support in 2016 – and the numbers aren’t. slowing. down.
So if you are female, a breadwinner in your marriage, and you did not sign a prenuptial agreement prior to your marriage, then you are looking at possibly paying manimony or spousal support to your soon to be ex-partner.
Can I avoid paying “manimony”?
If you are already married:
And you did not sign a prenuptial agreement (or simply known as a “prenup”) then you are at the mercy of your state guidelines to determine if you will have to pay out manimony.
If you are engaged (or not married yet):
Then you have the chance to draft a prenup and either have manimony waived or represented in your favor for your future (in the event that divorce or separation is to occur).
For those googling wtf is a prenup, a prenuptial agreement is an equally distributed document that defines the properties of the two parties entering a marriage and how those properties will be divided while married and in the event of divorce or separation.
A prenup gives the opportunity for a couple to discuss if they would like their assets, debts, inheritance, gifts, and wealth to be considered separate or community property – as this will dictate how property is dispersed upon divorce or separation.
Depending on what state you live in, your assets and property will be considered differently by default as there are community property states that automatically default to bringing equal rights to all property once a marriage is established.
So why is a prenup relevant?
Because it will give you (the breadwinning madam) the ability to protect your property and prevent manimony from being a part of your financial portfolio. By having your soon to be hubby waive his right to manimony / spousal support, you are protecting yourself from the financial burden that could be placed upon you by default in the event of divorce or separation.
So can you avoid paying manimony?
???? Yes – if your man waives his rights to it in your prenup.
What if homeboy says no?
Then you may have to sit down and start a real conversation about what it means to be married in the first place.
With prenups on the rise by over 500% in the last twenty years, prenups are becoming rapidly common among marriages for the very fact that they protect and prevent you from financial and emotional harm in the event that divorce is on the horizon.
It’s also fair to arm your fiancé with the knowledge that women (including yourself) have the right to protect themselves in the event that this marriage just doesn’t work out.
Protecting your past and future accomplishments with a prenup means being smart about the fact that divorces are on the rise. 99% of couples entering a marriage don’t think they’re going to get a divorce (and yet half of them do) and you’re trying to prevent the emotional and financial trauma that affects 100% of divorcees.
Prenups provide you with so much clarity where there is often confusion since it lays out what you want to have happen to your finances, what your husband’s wants and needs are, and how you two can come to a realistic and fair agreement on how to make both of those come to fruition.
HelloPrenup is a digital prenup platform that is designed to get you a fair and equally represented prenup. Our gender neutral platform lets you keep the momentum going for women across the globe by protecting your rights to a fair and equal marriage (and thus a fair and equal divorce).
By establishing the rights to your assets, debt, inheritance, and gifts prior to marriage, you’re setting yourself up for a marriage that will hopefully never have to live out manimony (and if you do, then you already know what to expect and you can streamline the divorce or separation process and save yourself a lot of time and money).
Arm yourself with a prenup and you’re going to arm your marriage for success. There are lots of reasons why a marriage will work (and a prenup is designed to keep set your marriage off on the right foot so you don’t have to do damage control with your state courts later).
???? You haven’t come this far to just come this far.
Think about the millions of women who have fought for equal rights – even if it means the uncomfortable thought of possibly paying manimony.
By protecting yourself with a prenup, you won’t have to add manimony to the highlight reel of your life, or your financial portfolio, and you’ll continue to make RGB proud (rest in power, boss) and keep women empowered around the globe.
Ready to start your prenup? Just sign-up at the top right corner of this page. It’s free to make an account with your partner and start your prenup process together. By walking through the questionnaire together from the comfort of your home, you avoid the billable hours associated with traditional attorneys, can keep your prenup confidential and honest, and will streamline the process by being able to print the document directly from your home.
Need a compromise? Tell homebody that this Friday you’ll let him watch something else instead of Bridgerton (and maybe he can decide the takeout destination too). ✨
XO, HP ????
Julia Rodgers is HelloPrenup’s CEO and Co-Founder. She is a Massachusetts family law attorney and true believer in the value of prenuptial agreements. HelloPrenup was created with the goal of automating the prenup process, making it more collaborative, time efficient and cost effective. Julia believes that a healthy marriage is one in which couples can openly communicate about finances and life goals. You can read more about us here Questions? Reach out to Julia directly at [email protected].