Think the husband in a divorce case is going to get stuck paying alimony? Think again. Times have changed. As women climb the corporate ladder and find income parity in South Florida and across the country, divorce attorneys at family law firms are finding more ex-wives responsible for alimony and child support. In some cases, divorce courts are awarding no alimony at all for either party.
“Women are earning substantial income and could be on the hook for alimony and child support,” said Barry Finkel, a divorce lawyer with Fort Lauderdale family law firm, Barry I. Finkel P.A. “In the past generation, we’ve witnessed a dramatic change in the realities of home economics – and how the courts are handling these financial shifts.”
With the glass ceiling smashed, the statistics bear out what South Florida divorce lawyers are seeing. Over the past three years, 47% of divorce attorneys nationwide reported that the number of women paying alimony has risen, notes the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. Some 56% of divorce attorneys have seen an increase in mothers paying child support.
In one case, a wife Finkel represents has exposure for alimony based on couple’s earnings during the marriage. In another, the husband will receive alimony from the wife, who was the family’s major bread-winner. In a growing number of cases, neither party has any alimony obligations.
“The economics of marriage and divorce are changing, but the responsibility to maintain normalcy for the children remains the same,” Finkel said. “Just because alimony or child support obligations have changed doesn’t mean the needs of the children have.”