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A recent study conducted by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers discovered that almost half of the divorce lawyers who took part in the survey saw an increase in the number of women ordered by the court to pay alimony to an ex-spouse. Fifty-four percent also reported seeing more women receiving orders to pay child support. This trend can have a huge effect on the lives of Kentucky residents who are considering a divorce.

Family law experts explain it was the norm in decades past for men to make more money than their spouses. This fact meant the man was always the one to find themselves on the hook for support if a marriage ended. It was also generally assumed that the wife would be the spouse who made less money in marriage and would therefore become the beneficiary of spousal support after marriage dissolution.

Changing norms

A combination of factors is changing these traditional divorce outcomes. First, women enjoy more opportunities in the workplace than they did in years past and often make as much if not sometimes more than their husbands. The fact that some men now take on more of the child-rearing responsibilities when married also contributes to making it more likely for a woman to pay child support.

One report shows that women are now the primary breadwinner in 40 percent of American families. And though males currently made up only three percent of the 400,000 people receiving spousal support in 2010, more women are being surprised with a court order to pay support.

It first became possible for women to make alimony payments in 1979 when the Supreme Court ruled it was unlawful for these payments to be gender-specific. It was common at that time to make alimony payments until one of the ex-spouses died or the spouse receiving payments remarried. More states have moved away from this lifelong obligation to keep up with current marriage trends.

Divorce is never a good thing for a family. But when a divorce is imminent, divorcees need to take measures to protect both their future and the futures of their children. Individuals involved with any stage of the divorce process may benefit from the services of a divorce attorney.