In the 20th century, divorce was a fairly standard procedure that played similarly for most people that took part in the process. Of course, that was also because legal unions between males and females, as well as the professional and gender roles they occupied were also fairly limited. This is why, for many 20th century divorce cases, there was simply no question that when a man and a woman divorced, the man, who was expected to be the main source of finance in the relationship, would pay alimony to the woman.

In other words, most divorces in the last century took it as a given that a woman would be incapable of supporting herself financially after a divorce without monetary aid from a man. This court ordered provision of financial support was called “Alimony.”

In the 21st century, things are quite a bit different.

Support Knows No Gender

The concept of alimony is still alive and well in 21st century divorce. However, the expectation that only women can receive alimony is no longer a given. While it is still not as common, there are certainly cases today where a divorce occurs and the woman is considered the bread winner in the family, with the man occupying a less financially important position. In some cases, the woman’s career may be such that it is the father that provides a more stable, nurturing environment and it simply makes more sense for the woman to pay alimony and/or child support if she cannot be the parent that the children need.

The same also holds true for same sex marriages, which were legally recognized in Pennsylvania in 2014, and allowed divorces to be processed in 2015. In LGBT cases where there may be children involved and support is required, alimony can still be assigned regardless of whether there are two parents of the same sex.

Of course, many other factors come into play when it comes to determining alimony amounts. For more information on this, you should always seek out the consul of an experienced Pennsylvania Divorce or Family Lawyer and find out what your legal rights, expectations and obligations are in such a situation.