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More women are paying alimony

Throughout Georgia and the rest of the nation, female breadwinners are becoming more commonplace. In a recent survey by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, more than 40 percent of attorney respondents said they have seen an increase in women paying alimony. In that same survey, 54 percent said that there is a rise in mothers paying child support.

According to Pew research, mothers are the breadwinners in four out of 10 households. In the past, women were more likely to be the stay-at-home parent or make less money. Now that more women earn higher incomes, more wives are in a position of having to pay alimony in the event of a divorce. However, some wives are blindsided when they learn that their role as the breadwinner with the husband being the stay-at-home dad over the course of a marriage is used as the basis for awarding alimony.

A landmark Supreme Court ruling in 1979 determined that women could be on the hook for paying spousal support just like men. In the past, alimony was awarded for the remainder of the spouse's life or until they were remarried. That has changed in recent years. The duration of alimony is now generally based on the time it takes for the other person to get the sufficient training they need to re-enter the workforce.

Child support and monthly payments for alimony are determined by income. A child support formula may be used to determine payments. A similar formula factoring in medical expenses and everyday expenses can be used in awarding alimony.

For those in the process of a divorce, an experienced family attorney could be an important asset. Legal counsel can help create the framework for an adequate support agreement.

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