In my last post I quoted the NY Post/AP article on the number of women who are getting alimony:
How many people get alimony anyway?
Government statistics vary. The Census Bureau says 243,000 people got alimony last year, 98 percent of them women.
But I noticed today that the CNBC article I quoted in the same post gives a figure that is over twice as large:
In 2015, according to the data from the Internal Revenue Service, an estimated 598,888 taxpayers claimed the alimony deduction on their Form 1040, for a total of more than $12.3 billion.
If anything, I would expect the tax data to understate the number of men paying alimony, since some of them could be taking the standard deduction.
Granted, these are slightly different stats, since one is the number of payees (women) and the other is the number of payers (men). But this would only line up if the average woman receiving alimony received it from more than two men. It is much more likely that one of these sources is incorrect. My bet is that the larger estimate is more accurate but still probably understates the real number.
Either way, child support is the defining feature of our modern family model, since it is the replacement for marriage whether or not a wedding has occurred. Alimony is a vestige of the old system, and aside from some noteworthy exceptions appears to be on the way out.