When you earn more, families, friends and strangers will start coming out of the woodworks demanding their cut. When you have more to lose, the stakes become much higher. The question of your finances is the defining argument former spouses face when they battle for their share of money in divorce court. And as more women become breadwinners, a new survey has found that this means that more women are paying alimony and child support to their former partners.
More money, more likelihood that you’re going to pay child support
More mothers have paid child support during the past three years, according to 54% of attorneys surveyed by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. Almost half of the attorneys surveyed said they had also noticed an uptick in women paying for alimony.
In the eyes of the law, alimony payments are becoming a gender-neutral space. As more women become the primary wage earners of their household, this means that women are no longer off the hook from financially supporting their ex.
“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, said in a statement. “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.”
That’s the downside of being a breadwinner. With more money can come more questions about where that money should go. That’s why Marzano-Lesnevich suggests discussing this possibility before your relationship hits rock bottom, even if the conversation is unappetizing.
“Nobody who’s getting married likes to think about getting divorced,” Marzano-Lesnevich said. “But the reality is that you can avoid a lot of this by sitting down, doing a good prenup [and] talking openly with each other.”