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Studies find increase in women paying child support, alimony

In recent years, women in Florida who got a divorce might be more likely to pay alimony and child support than in the past. A study by the American Association of Matrimonial Attorneys found that 45 percent of lawyers said that in the last three years, they had seen an increase in the number of women paying alimony. More than half of the attorneys who were surveyed said the number of women paying child support had increased. Furthermore, according to Pew Research, women are the breadwinners in 40 percent of families.

In 1979, the Supreme Court decreed that alimony should be paid by women as well as men. The concept of alimony has shifted over the years as well. While it was once considered a kind of lifelong support for a spouse who did not work, alimony is less likely to be permanent than in the past. It is seen as more of a way to help a spouse get the training needed to enter the workforce.

Some attorneys say women are resentful about having to pay alimony because they are not raised to expect this. Furthermore, even women who are breadwinners might suffer from emotional, verbal and physical abuse in a marriage. There is also uncertainty about how a change that no longer allows alimony to be tax deductible starting in 2019 will affect payments.

There also may be shifts in how parents approach child custody. For example, traditionally, mothers got custody while visitation agreements for fathers might allow them to see their children on alternate weekends. Parents might be more likely to agree on joint custody instead or at least a visitation arrangement that allows each of them to spend more time with their children. Parents might be able to negotiate this issue instead of going to a court, where a judge will decide. Avoiding a custody battle might result in a less contentious co-parenting relationship after divorce.

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