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Women Increasingly Paying Alimony to Their Ex-Husbands

In past years, when a couple divorced, it was very rare for a woman to pay alimony to her ex-husband. Recently, though, the situation has reversed in this country’s divorce courts and as a result, more women are paying their ex-husbands spousal support and child support than they ever have in the past. When a woman who divorces makes more money than her husband, she will be expected to pay more in child support and, in some cases, will even be paying alimony to her ex-husband.

The American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers stated that 56% of divorce attorneys across the U.S. have seen a rise in the number of mothers paying child support in the last 3 years, and 47% have seen an increase in the umber of women paying alimony. Alton Abramowitz, the president-elect of the academy, said:

“Women have really moved up financially and that in many instances they are the major breadwinner in a lot of families.”

Abramowitz said the gender switch in alimony payments is just one of the many changes he has seen during his four decades as a lawyer. “When I started practicing law in 1973, there was no equitable distribution of property,” he said. According to Abramowitz, the number of women who have taken over financial responsibility -- or who have had those responsibilities laid on them -- has risen. In the past, men complained about paying alimony to their former wives, and now today, women complain about having to pay alimony to their former husbands.

The trend of women paying alimony goes hand in hand with career gains won by women in recent years. Today, men and women now receive medical degrees at equal rates, and the number of women earning law degrees has gone up by nearly 100 percent, too. One light at the end of the tunnel for women paying alimony, is that the alimony, in most cases, will only be paid until the ex-spouse gains the education and skills necessary to be financially independent.