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As the wage gap closes, women pay alimony more often

There has always been something of a wage gap between the genders, with women earning less money than men. However, there is one potential sign that the gap has been shrinking: Women who get divorced are being told to pay alimony more often.

That suggests that these women are the breadwinners for their families, something that has traditionally been a male role. This does not mean that men are not working -- though that may be true in some cases, especially if they take on the role of looking after the house and raising the kids -- but just that they are earning less than their wives. They may still be working in part-time jobs or at lower-paying, full-time jobs.

It is still more common for men to earn more, but not like it once was. For instance, stats showed that men in 1960 were the main breadwinners in 89 percent of homes, while women held that role in just 11 percent. By 2013, that had jumped to a 60/40 split.

The American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers surveyed legal professionals to find out how often they were seeing these changes, and the responses indicated that 45 percent of these attorneys noticed that women were paying alimony more than they used to. At the same time, 54 percent said that they saw an increase in the frequency with which mothers were told to pay child support.

That has all happened in the previous three years. As the dynamics continue to shift, it is important for both men and women to know exactly where they stand financially during a divorce.

Source: MarketWatch, "More women are paying alimony (as more wives become breadwinners)," Leslie Albrecht, May 24, 2018

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