When a couple goes through a divorce, there are several stereotypes that people have about the process. The assets need to be divided evenly. Any issues regarding children need to be ironed out. Many people also believe that the husband will need to pay a certain amount of alimony or child support to the wife because the husband is usually the breadwinner in the family and the wife will not be able to support herself once the family breaks apart.
Over the past few decades, trends related to spousal support and wife-dominated property division settlements have starting to shift. Changes in the demographics of the American family, the portrayal of families in popular culture and the evolution of legal arguments has led to an increasing number of men “winning” their contested divorce disputes.
A Shift in Responsibilities
A survey was recently published by the American Association of Matrimonial Lawyers. This is a group of attorney who routinely handle divorce proceedings in court. The organization has over 1,500 members and the survey of these members revealed that over half of the members reported that they have been seeing a paradigm shift in the way judges are handling divorce proceedings. Among the issues that are starting to change include the allocation of alimony, the distribution of child support responsibilities, and the distribution of property. Other law practices that aren’t included in this association have been seeing changes in court rulings as well.
Why Has There Been a Shift?
One of the first questions that most people ask is why has there been a shift? Historically, women stayed home and raised the children while the men worked to provide financially for the family. If a divorce happened and the financial support for the family disappeared, the family would struggle immensely. Therefore, alimony and child support were used to fix this problem. In recent decades, women have started to make up a larger proportion of the workforce. This means that women are just as able to provide for the family as men are. In court, women are finding that it is harder and harder to argue in front of a judge that they don’t have the same earning power as their husband. Because of this, judges are starting to make decisions in favor of men.
What Does This Mean for the Future?
In the past, many men were resigned to a certain fate when it came to divorce proceedings. They assumed that the decision would negatively impact their financial future. This survey reflects that men should never just assume that the decision will be made against their best wishes. Men should take every opportunity to argue their case in a court of law because judges have been more and more sympathetic when it comes to issues such as alimony and child support; however, to maximize their chances, men need to seek the experience of a family law attorney. Anyone involved in a divorce case should seek the assistance of a lawyer who understands the changing trends in divorce proceedings.