More US Women Paying Child Support, Alimony

By Edward Tan, JD on May 17, 2012 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

The glass ceiling for women may finally be shattering, but not in the way you may think. A new survey indicates that more American women are now paying alimony and child support to their ex-spouses, Reuters reports.

The survey was conducted by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. The group discovered that 56 percent of divorce lawyers surveyed reported seeing an increase in mothers paying child support over the last three years. Additionally, 47 percent said women were paying alimony.

Why the sudden change?

It might be due to more women becoming their family's breadwinners, according to the AAML. Despite statistics that indicate many women still earn less on average than men, many females have started to bear their home's financial burden.

Conversely, more men have started acting as their children's primary caregiver, AAML President Ken Altshuler said. And in general, childrearing duties are now shared between spouses more so than in the past.

But as far as courts are concerned, a party's gender doesn't matter when it comes to determining alimony and child support payments. Most courts typically look at a number of factors when deciding how much and to whom these types of payments are to be made.

Some of these factors include the age, work experience, financial condition, and education of each spouse. But one of the most important is whether a party will be able to support him or herself following a divorce. If he or she is unable to earn enough to maintain the same standard of living during marriage, that party will usually be entitled to spousal support.

While some may think this is unfair, the reason for alimony is to balance the negative economic effects that can often accompany marriage and divorce. Many times, raising a family can sometimes require one spouse to give up their career.

Though more women are now paying child support and alimony, it remains uncertain how long this trend will continue. But if you still have specific family law questions, you can check out FindLaw Answers' robust family law forum for help.

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