In 1979, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that alimony payments and child support become gender-neutral. This landmark decision paved the way for more mothers to pay support after a divorce.
As society continues to change and more women support families, this number climbs in nearly all areas of the country.
Society still resists female child support
While the legal precedence for women paying child support remains fixed in the courts, society remains reluctant in many respects. MarketWatch pins much of this attitude on tradition and women making less than men in the workplace. Now, however, more women than in the past play the role of breadwinner in their families.
One survey shows that women made more money than a husband in 40% of marriages. Yet, statistics continue to show that women rarely pay alimony or child support, though these numbers continue to rise. A survey of matrimonial lawyers indicated that 54% of these professionals witnessed a rise in mothers paying child support in recent years.
Attitudes remain an important factor
While many people tend to see the court system based solely on legal principles, the truth is that how people think plays a significant role. Cultural stereotypes that men should support a family tend to argue against women paying child support. Also, the changing ideas regarding child support and for how long it should last continue to influence outcomes.
Other analysts say that support issues are often about more than who makes the most money, at least in the minds of divorced parents. While women paying child support shows strides in women’s search for equal pay, some women might believe they still wield less power than men. Nonetheless, the trend of more women paying child support is likely to continue.