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Gender Roles No Longer Define Men's Divorce

Posted on in Divorce

Gender Roles No Longer Define Men's DivorceEven with the advancements in gender equality, many men and women in relationships cling to the traditional gender roles of previous generations. Men are supposed to be the providers, and women give support at home. These expected roles can give the man power during a marriage and work against him during a divorce. Women in a divorce are more likely to receive spousal maintenance and primary allocation of parental responsibilities. However, gender does not determine the benefits awarded in a divorce. Divorcing men are limiting themselves if they believe their gender predetermines how their divorces will turn out.


Some divorcing spouses assume that the man always pays alimony. When a divorce court instead decides that the woman must pay spousal maintenance to the man:

  • The woman may feel cheated; and
  • The man may feel emasculated.

Spousal maintenance is meant to help the spouse who is financially vulnerable after a divorce. With previous generations, husbands almost always had the greater income. Most wives relied upon their husbands because they did not work or had low-paying jobs. Though women are now likely to have careers, statistics continue to show an income gap between men and women. However, wives can have greater incomes than their husbands. In such situations, the woman would be the party that is liable for spousal maintenance during a divorce.

Parenting Time

Spouses may also assume that the children will live with their mother after a divorce. Courts must consider the child’s best interests when determining the division of parenting time. Mothers are often the primary caretakers in families, which is why they are usually given a majority of the parenting time. Instead of automatically conceding control of parental responsibilities, the father should consider which parent:

  • Is more capable of caring for the children alone;
  • Will be able to spend more time with the children;
  • Has a stronger emotional connection with the children;
  • Will provide a better living environment; and
  • Shows better judgment in regards to the children.

The parent who is the answer to a majority of those questions may be the one whom the children should live with.

Divorce Decisions

As a man getting a divorce, you should not act in a way that suggests you have already accepted how the divorce will be settled. Moving out of your home or giving up your parenting time will weaken your position in negotiations. A Barrington, Illinois, divorce attorney at Joseph M. Lucas & Associates, LLC, will look beyond traditional gender roles in determining what you should receive in a divorce. Schedule a consultation by calling 847-381-8700.


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