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Massachusetts men: Do you know your options for alimony?

Many family law cases and issues have complicated, established roots that have developed and grown over generations. And while attitudes change and evolve over time, it is easy for people the be comfortable with or expectant of the traditional resolutions that have been in place for years.

However, sticking with tradition can prove to be detrimental in some cases. For instance, many men choose not to pursue alimony, even when they are in the position to receive it. Current laws allow any person -- man or woman -- to seek spousal support and it can be awarded in situations where certain requirements are fulfilled. But according to Census statistics, just 3 percent of the people receiving alimony in 2014 were men.

That is an extremely low number, especially when you take into account the fact that we are seeing more and more men leave jobs to be stay-at-home dads. Further, it is no longer unusual for a woman to be the breadwinner in a family. Despite these developments, the number of men seeking alimony is still incredibly low.

Many reasons have been offered to explain this discrepancy. Most commonly, it is presumed that men are not seeking alimony because of so-called "macho pride," or the belief that a man does not need a woman to support them.

There are also allegations that some judges are discriminatory when it comes to men seeking alimony and deny any requests that come their way.

Men might also be more likely to see alimony as a crutch when compared to women. Because women have been the primary recipients of alimony for generations, they may be more used to the idea of receiving money from an ex after divorce; men can be more comfortable with just cutting all ties and moving on without any type of help.

If you are a man getting divorced and you subscribe to any of these beliefs, you could be making things much harder on yourself in the months and years following your divorce if you choose not to pursue alimony, even if you are in the position to receive it. Before you make any decisions regarding spousal support, it can be critical that you consult an attorney to better understand your rights and options.

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