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Child custody and alimony in the 21st century

Gender equality is a current buzzword in New Jersey that most people are becoming more and more familiar with. Along with gender equality is the term stay-at-home dad. More and more women are becoming the main breadwinners in the home as it becomes more acceptable for dads to stay home with the children. This can have unintended ramifications in the eventuality that the marriage ends in divorce. More women are paying child support and even alimony.

A recent survey of attorneys by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers found that 54 percent of the lawyers reported an increase in mothers paying child support and 45 percent reported an increase in women paying alimony. In one instance, the alimony paid to an ex-husband went to supporting his online pornography habit. While the woman in this case protested this use of the alimony payment, the court sided with the ex-husband and said that it was part of his entertainment expenses.

In a divorce settlement, a judge will look at the incomes of both parties and calculate alimony based on those incomes. The partner with the larger income will usually pay alimony, and child support if there are children involved, to the partner with the smaller income. There are also instances where the father who is the primary caregiver is awarded primary custody.

With all of the changes in marriage structure, divorce and custody settlements, a person facing the prospect of a divorce in New Jersey may benefit from speaking with an experienced family law attorney. If children are involved, their best interests will be primary considerations in child support and alimony agreements. A knowledgeable attorney can assist in navigating the legal process and help his or her client to arrive at a fair outcome.

Source: marketwatch.com, "More women are paying alimony (as more wives become breadwinners)", Leslie Albrecht, May 25, 2018

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