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Divorced women paying alimony at historically high rates

After the division of assets during a Maryland divorce, a divorcing spouse may also be entitled to alimony and child support. Historically, male spouses have paid alimony and/or child support to female spouses.

However, experts are seeing a shift in this trend.

Recent trends: Women paying more in divorce

Data from the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers shows that over the last three years, divorce lawyers across the country have seen a 56 percent increase in women paying child support to male ex-spouses and a 47 percent increase in women paying alimony to their ex-spouses. Today's women are making more alimony or child support payments to their male ex-spouses than at any other time in history.

More women in the workplace

A big reason for this shift is that more women are attaining higher-paying professional jobs. For example, in 1980, only one-third of graduates of U.S. medical schools were women, compared to almost half today. Similarly, the number of women who earn law degrees has nearly doubled. These trends have had a significant impact on the work force.

New responsibilities

Consequently, women are increasingly taking on more financial responsibilities in their marriages and family life. In many cases, female spouses have taken over the bulk of these responsibilities on account of their status as the greater financial contributor. When a divorce occurs under these circumstances, women often end up paying alimony and child support to the male spouses.

Divorce carries significant financial changes, including the potential for alimony and child support payments. Whether you or your spouse is the higher income-earner, an experienced Maryland divorce attorney can help you through the process.

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

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