Women are now finding that gender equality in divorce court is coming with a cost. According to a recent survey of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML), 54 percent of its members have cited an increase in the number of mothers paying child support during the past three years, while 45 percent have also seen a rise in women being responsible for alimony. In addition, 78 percent noted an increase in parents having shared custody of children.
“While men have almost always expected to pay alimony, many women still have a very difficult time accepting that this financial obligation might fall to them,” said Madeline Marzano-Lesnevich, president of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers.
“Unlike with previous generations, there are now many more two income households with parents who serve as equals in taking care of the home and raising the children. This current reality is certainly being recognized by the courts.”
Ms Marzano-Lesnevich recommended that any woman who might be considered the primary wage earner in a marriage immediately gather and organize as many financial documents as possible at the beginning of the divorce process.
She added that it would be a mistake to dismiss the idea that you might be the spouse who is obligated to make payments once the case is settled, so don’t let that potential bias prevent you from making the most diligent preparations.
Above all, Ms Marzano-Lesnevich said it was essential for women to understand that divorce courts have become a gender-neutral place where numbers and the bottom line will ultimately influence any decisions regarding who pays alimony and child support.
Founded in 1962, the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML) comprises of the top 1,650 matrimonial attorneys throughout the USA.
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