Even though society is rapidly changing, a lot of people in New York are still holding on to outdated ideas about family and divorce. It is true that in the past judges mainly awarded primary custody, child support and alimony to mothers. This is much less common than it once was. However, you could be missing out on important post-divorce payments and parenting time if you still believe that mothers are always at an advantage during divorce.
There are many reasons that men are now doing better in these areas. One of the biggest reasons is simply that women are earning more than they did in the past. Higher wages mean mothers are less likely to need to rely on child and spousal support and may even pay their exes instead.
Women are doing well in the workplace
Data from the Pew Research Center shows that mothers make more and are the primary financial supporters in a growing number of American families — about four in every 10. In these situations, either moms are earning more than their spouses or dads are staying home to care for children. This means that when it comes time to divorce, moms are more likely to be on the hook for support.
More than 45% of attorneys who spoke with the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers in 2018 said they had noticed more and more women paying spousal support to their ex-spouses. In that same survey, 54% reported that moms were paying child support more often than in the past. The cultural shift of mothers supporting families is also mirrored in what happens during divorce.
Stereotypes are still a problem
In general, people just expect men to pay spousal support no matter what, and they may not look kindly upon dads who do not pay child support. When judges order women to pay support, they often wonder why their exes cannot simply get a job or find better paying employment. This question is rarely posed to women. Sadly, even men have these thoughts too.
Census data from 2010 found that of the 400,000 people receiving alimony, only 3% were men. This does not really reflect the fact that moms are financially supporting nearly half of all households in America. Whether women are resistant to the idea or men feel pressured and even guilty about seeking support, many dads are not getting the help they need.
Dads have rights too
Moms are important, but so are dads. Whether you have primary custody, share custody with your ex or earn significantly less, you also have a right to support. Unfortunately, fighting cultural stereotypes to assert those rights is not always easy in New York.
While support will secure your financial stability after divorce, child support will primarily benefit your child. You can use that support to provide a safe home, cover educational costs, pay medical expenses and much more. It is best to not leave things up to chance when it comes to getting the support both you and your child need. You will probably find that working alongside an experienced family law attorney will make this process much easier and possibly even more successful.