More women paying alimony and child support than ever before

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Women have broken barriers over the last few decades, including one running for President of the United States of America. And as more and more women surpass their exes in the salary arena and become the major financial contributors in a family, more of these women are forced to contribute to their exes in the form of child support and spousal support or alimony when the marriage dissolves.

Thus, Missouri residents may not be surprised to learn that, according to a survey conducted by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, 56 percent of U.S. divorce attorneys are reporting seeing an increase in the number of moms paying child support. And 44 percent of divorce attorneys reported seeing an increase in the number of ex-wives paying alimony.

The president elect of the Academy, which has 1,600 members that handle everything from divorce, separations, prenuptial agreements, child custody issues to property evaluation and division, said the survey’s findings demonstrate how women have really moved up the corporate ladder and are now tapping on that infamous glass ceiling.

After practicing law for almost 40 years, he said the survey findings are really a sea change in how the roles of women in the workforce have changed. What comes with this is the taking over of the financial responsibilities in a family as well. It truly demonstrates how society has evolved over the last few decades, he said.

For decades the divorce rate in the U.S. has remained relatively constant, drifting between 46 and 53 percent of all marriages, even though women are making great advances in their professional careers. Just as men are unhappy with paying alimony or spousal support, women are no different. The Academy’s president elect said the change in genders paying alimony or spousal support is just one of many changes he has seen over the last forty years as a divorce attorney. Back when he started in the early 1970s he said there was no equitable distribution of property, clearly that is not the case anymore.

Source: Reuters, “Divorce courts mirror society as more women pay alimony,” Patricia Reaney, May 10, 2012

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