Vicki GunvalsonLos Angeles, CA- People have the impression that when a couple gets divorce, usually the man pays. While this might have been true 30 years ago or even 20 years ago, it isn’t always the case these days, and a well-to-do wife may be in the hook for alimony as Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Vikki Ganvulson learned.

Ganvulson just forked out large undisclosed amount of money to her ex-husband Donn to end their bitter divorce, Radaronline reported. Ironically, the money Gunvalson paid to Donn came from the income she earns on the reality show which he repeatedly called stupid and made fun of. But that’s the price any person, male or female pays for being hugely successful.

Gunvalson is just one of the numerous female celebrities who are required to pay their ex alimony, or manimony, as it’s called. When mega-star Madonna divorced director Guy Ritchie she shelled out over $50 million to close the door on her marriage. When Brittney Spears divorced Kevin Federline, she agreed to pay the dancer and pizza delivery guy $40,000 a month in manimony.

And it isn’t just celebrities or the wealthy that have to pay lump settlement amounts or alimony when a marriage goes south. Any woman can be forced to pay spousal or child support since in one-third of marriages women make more than their spouses.

A solid figure on how many men receive alimony or lump settlement amounts from their estranged wives is not easy to pinpoint. According to the 2010 Census, 400,000 people were received spousal support, 3 percent of which are men, still a relatively low number. But that number is growing, Reuters reported that a survey conducted by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers found that 47 percent of its 1,600 members saw an increase in the number of women paying alimony to their ex.

The number of men receiving alimony would likely be higher, but as divorce attorneys know pride can get in the way when it comes to seeking spousal or child support. The traditional role as provider still hangs over men even though women represent nearly 50 percent of the workforce so alimony can be seen as affront to their masculinity.

Many men don’t even ask their wives for alimony until they learn how drastically their lifestyles will change without their wife’s income as one divorce lawyer told Reuters. Men will back off of pursuing alimony much quicker than women amid divorce settlement negotiations another attorney told Reuters.

Some women choose to pay their former husbands lump sums instead of on-going alimony payments like Gunvalson. Either way, divorce courts are beginning to see women as equals when it comes to a divorce settlement and men are no longer the only ones who pay when a marriage fails.

Having a prenuptial agreement is one way for a successful and financially well-off man or woman to avoid a bitter battle and costly divorce settlement.