Report: Mothers increasingly ordered to pay child support
Many people may rely on tradition when it comes to determining child support and other payments that must be made in the event of a divorce. In the past, divorcing couples may have simply expected that the father would pay child support while the mother retained custody of the children. However, with traditional roles changing so much in the professional and family landscape, so too are the trends in how child support payments are determined.
Across California, more women are serving as the primary financial earner in a family. Increased career opportunities and compensation for women may mean that a mother is the breadwinner in a family. On the other hand, more fathers are opting to stay at home with the children and serve as their primary caregiver. How does this shift in parental roles affect child support?
In the past three years, over half of a group of family lawyers surveyed responded that they have seen an increase in orders for a mother to make child support payments in the event of a divorce. This means that traditional concepts of who should pay support may no longer be relevant in the eyes of some people. As women continue to expand their roles in the workforce, the idea of a “traditional” family may be changing significantly.
In most courts, the gender of a parent does not make a difference in determining child support payments. Instead, a judge will focus on the well being of a child and what is in his or her best interest.
Regardless of tradition versus trend, the reality is that child support issues are often very sensitive. Each parent will likely be willing to fight for custody, child support or visitation rights. Working with an attorney may allow parents to come to a mutually agreeable decision that benefits not only the child, but the parents as well.
Source: Reuters, “More US Women Paying Child Support, Alimony,” Edward Tan, May 16, 2012