More Women Are Now Paying Alimony and Child Support


Female breadwinners are ponying up for their exes more than ever.

A recent American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML) survey found that more than four in 10 lawyers (45%) had seen an increase over the past three years in women being on the hook for alimony, aka spousal support or maintenance. Meanwhile, 54% said they’d seen a rise in mothers paying child support.

Decades ago, AAML president Madeline Marzano-Lesnevich told Moneyish, “it was almost traditionally the man who paid support, and the man who was earning a higher income — and it was the woman in either a lesser-income job or she would be a stay-at-home mom,” typically meaning she would receive alimony when the couple divorced.

But women now occupy more higher-paying positions and make more money than they used to, Marzano-Lesnevich pointed out. “Now when they’re faced with divorce, if they’ve had a history in their marriage of their being the breadwinner … or the husband being the child care provider, these women are going to be faced with paying support. And many of them are very surprised when they learn that.”

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