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Studies find rise in women paying child support and alimony

When some Minnesota women get a divorce, they might be more likely to be responsible for paying child support or alimony than in the past according to a survey by the American Association of Matrimonial Lawyers. A Pew Research study found that in around 40 percent of families, women are the breadwinners. However, although alimony has been gender neutral since a 1979 Supreme Court ruling, some women are still unprepared for the possibility of having to pay spousal or child support. Furthermore, being the breadwinner does not mean these women are immune from being in abusive relationships.

The purpose of alimony has changed over the years. While it may once have been primarily a way to support stay-at-home mothers or those who had low incomes, it is now used more to help people train for the workforce. Alimony is often temporary where it was once permanent.

Starting with divorces that are finalized in 2019, there will be another change in alimony. It will no longer be tax deductible. Many attorneys are unsure as to how this will affect alimony payments. Some people say alimony should be eliminated altogether. For example, one expert says couples should create prenuptial agreements. An AAML survey reports a rise in these as well.

Prenups may also cover how property will be divided. This property might include assets such as a home, a business and investments as well as debts. Couples who do not have a prenup and who get a divorce might negotiate an agreement for how this property will be divided. They might also negotiate a child custody arrangement. If they cannot agree, they might need to go to court.

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