Over the past few decades, women have been making significant strides in climbing the corporate ladder. Many women now have high paying executive positions, which used to be almost exclusively held by men. One indication of this trend is that increasing numbers of women are now paying spousal support and child support to their husbands after a divorce.
Nationwide over the past three years, 47 percent of family law attorneys reported an increase in the number of women paying spousal support, and 56 percent saw a rise in mothers paying child support, according to a survey by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML). The president-elect of the AAML explained, “It shows that women have really moved up financially and that in many instances they are the major bread winners in a lot of families.”
The shift in women’s careers can also be seen in the numbers of those seeking advanced degrees. According to information from the Digest of Education Statistics, the number of women graduating from law schools has almost doubled, and women are now the recipients of about half of all medical degrees. In 1980, only about one out of three medical degrees was awarded to a woman.
For the past several decades the national divorce rate has stayed roughly the same, ranging from 46 to 53 percent. Since more women now work outside of the home and earn salaries that are equal or above their husbands, increasing numbers are being asked to contribute more financially when couples decide to part ways.
Source: Reuters, Divorce courts mirror society as more women pay alimony, Patricia Reaney, 10 May 2012