Increase in Spousal Support for Stay-At-Home Dads
Though national statistics still show women lagging substantially behind men in average earnings, more and more women are out-earning their husbands, and in many instances, families are opting to have the father stay at home with children because of the greater earning potential of the mother. As that trend has increased, so has another–that of stay-at-home dads successfully seeking spousal support in a divorce proceeding.
Most family law experts say that, as gender roles in society have become less delineated, the demand has been that the courts take a more gender neutral approach to divorce, custody and support. They acknowledge, though, that the legal system has been and remains, to a significant degree, biased against men in family law matters. Even though the “tender years doctrine,” the premise that mothers are biologically more skilled at nurturing small children, has been rejected nationwide, many judges (who are mostly men) still balk at the idea of a woman paying a man any level of support, even if the woman earns ten times as much as the man.
Experts also say that cultural stereotypes come into play. Many men who might have a legitimate claim for alimony, who have given up a lesser paying career to stay home with children, often don’t seek spousal support in a divorce because of the cultural perception that it would not be very “manly” to accept payment from a woman.
Not surprisingly, as more and more women out-earn their husbands, legal experts have seen a dramatic increase in the number of women asking for a prenuptial agreement. In a recent study, more than half of all family law attorneys polled said they had seen such an increase.
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At the law office of Joanne E. Kleiner & Associates, we have protected the rights of men and women in and around Philadelphia for more than 25 years. Let us help you successfully resolve your family law problems. To schedule an appointment with an experienced Pennsylvania family law attorney, contact our office online or call us at 215-886-1266.