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Lawyers say more women ordered to pay alimony, child support

In many cases when an Ohio couple files for divorce, they strive to negotiate the issues before them, including child support and spousal maintenance. As they negotiate, a complete a review of all aspects of their financial lives is typical and often involves each preparing a list of all known assets and liabilities. During the course of that review and subsequent negotiations, any disparity in income between the parties is identified and considered in conjunction with other marital issues.

Until recently, in traditional marriages, the husband often out-earned the wife. This typically led to long-term payments for spousal maintenance in a subsequent divorce. These payments were intended to help the unemployed or underemployed spouse from suffering financially as a result of the dissolution. Now, however, divorce courts are catching up with society. As more women than ever out-earn their male counterparts and continue to graduate with professional degrees at an increasing rate, attorneys across the country are seeing more women being ordered to pay spousal support and child support than in the past.

More than half of attorneys surveyed recently noted that they have seen an increase in mothers paying child support. Similar numbers reported that there was a significant increase in spousal support payments being paid by wives.

In divorce, a couple must come to agreements on many matters. If they cannot, a court may be asked to step in and make awards for issues such as child support and spousal maintenance. Any awards made normally take into account the incomes of the respective parties within the context of the assets and liabilities to be divided.

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

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