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I provide experienced legal guidance in family law, divorce and special education law. I represent parents and families throughout western Massachusetts.

Women starting to pay more in divorce as their salaries increase

For many years the divorce rate in Massachusetts and across the country has remained fairly stable. Authorities note that it has ranged between 46 and 53 percent for quite some time. Until recently, many of those couples deciding to divorce reached a settlement in which the wife was paid spousal support and child support by her ex-husband.

However, in recent years society has changed such that many women are now earning as much or more than their male counterparts. There has additionally been a dramatic increase in the number of female graduates from both medical and law schools. This evolution has led to changes in divorce settlements for some couples.

The number of women in divorce proceedings who are being ordered to pay spousal maintenance and child support is growing. The increase in numbers is in line with the changes in economic situations for many women. Many now are no longer supported economically by a man, as was the case historically. In fact, nearly half of divorce lawyers in the U.S. have noticed an increase in the number of women being ordered to pay alimony, and more than half have seen more mothers have to pay child support.

It seems that divorce settlements are becoming increasingly aligned with current societal conditions. If you are considering divorce, it may be helpful to keep this information in mind. In this vein, it's important for those who are going through a divorce to understand their rights and options. Doing so can help to inform you as to who may be responsible for spousal maintenance and other payments after the divorce is final, depending upon all of the relevant facts and circumstances.

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

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