A new survey released by the American Academy of Matrimony Lawyers (AAML) supports legal experts' contention that alimony and child support payments have shifted almost entirely from a man's responsibility. The survey showed that an increasing number of mothers in North Carolina and across the country are paying child support, with more than half of AAML attorneys saying that they have seen a rise in their own practices. Further, nearly half of the lawyers said they have noticed more women paying alimony.
In addition, women are more likely to be funding the divorce itself, considering that they are more financially empowered and able to make more life-changing decisions.
The shift shouldn't be surprising, considering legal revisions and an increasing number of women in higher-powered jobs, say professionals. Mothers are also no longer given a de facto advantage in child custody cases. These changes signal a wider cultural change that will likely lead to women playing a larger role as contributors to the child support and alimony systems.
About a decade ago, the state's courts discarded the "Tender Age" doctrine that allowed legal favoritism toward mothers in custody battles, and now men are leaping into the fray with enthusiasm. More men are fighting for the sole custody of their children, while more women are bringing home the lion's share of the profits, turning traditional gender roles on their heads.
Women are reaching higher executive positions thanks to improved hiring practices and better educational opportunities, which has led to more of them supporting their ex-husbands. Older generations had thought that the man should be the sole provider, but with today's economic situations, that is a luxury that few couples can afford. Consequently, more women are better prepared to financially support their exes now than ever before.
Even though lawyers say they have seen a rise, men still are responsible for the vast majority of child support and alimony payments. The courts are nowhere near a 50-50 split, according to professionals.
Source: WFMY News, "New survey shows more women paying alimony," Faith Abubey, May 10, 2012