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More women are paying alimony

The gender divide regarding pay scale still needs to be bridged in some companies. Nevertheless, the equal pay for the same work is increasingly common, perhaps with the U.S. National Women’s Soccer Team and the #MeToo movement pushing the culture scale further into balance.

Equal pay means obligations

This predictably leads to shifts in how couples divide assets in divorce as well as paying maintenance for children or to a former spouse. This information is borne out in a 2018 survey of 1,650 lawyers:

 

This predictably leads to shifts in how couples divide assets in divorce as well as ce for children or to a former spouse. This information is borne out in a 2018 survey of 1,650 lawyers:

  • 54% say they have seen an increase in the last three years of mothers paying child support.
  • 45% say they have seen an uptick in women paying alimony or spousal maintenance.

The shift involves more than pay

Equal pay is at the heart of the matter. But surrounding it are other critical cultural factors as well. These include:

  • Husbands are more comfortable taking the role of the secondary income earner, with 40% of the wives acting as the primary provider for families with children.
  • Both spouses work fulltime, but the wife earns a higher wage.
  • Women’s employment options are much broader than traditional options like a school teacher, secretary or nurse.
  • Courts now award support to husbands more often although it is still skewed -- 52.3% of women with sole custody get support, versus 31.4% of men with sole custody.

Support reflects the familys financial dynamic

Spouses of each gender have argued that the other was underemployed, and therefore did not need or deserve spousal maintenance. Right or wrong, however, the spouse who was the primary breadwinner during the marriage will likely be the one paying child support and possibly spousal maintenance. In this day, it could be a female business owner or and a male stockbroker.

The good news for those paying is that alimony is now often regarded as rehabilitative, which means support is provided until the other spouse is trained to reenter the workforce. Those with questions regarding their potential for alimony or child support should speak with an attorney who handles these matters here in Colorado. They can provide the most up-to-date information based on the cases they work on.

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