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Why an increasing number of women are paying alimony

Lawyers across the country have noted a surge in the number of women being ordered to pay alimony and child support to their former partners. As the number of female breadwinners and male stay-at-home parents rise in North Carolina, there has been a concomitant increase in ex-husbands receiving support payments.

In a survey conducted by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, 45 percent of divorce lawyers noted that they had seen a rise in the number of ex-wives paying alimony since 2014. In addition, 54 percent of the surveyed lawyers said that they had seen a rise in mothers paying child support during that same period.

Traditionally, the male partner has been responsible for support payments after a divorce. This reflected the financial imbalance of most relationships across the country. However, this is changing alongside developments in the economic situation of many women professionals.

In 40 percent of American families, women are the primary breadwinners. In some circumstances, however, their husbands are also significant financial contributors and neither partner would be likely to receive spousal support. In 2010, only around 3 percent of the 400,000 people across the country receiving spousal support were male. However, the AAML study indicates that this percentage has likely shifted upward.

Depending on the exact circumstances of the divorce, spousal support may not be awarded on a permanent basis. A family law attorney can work with a divorcing spouse to pursue a fair settlement that respects their contributions to the marriage in terms of asset division, alimony and other matters.

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