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More women paying spousal, child support following divorce

Women in Nebraska and across the country have been fighting for equal treatment over the course of the last several decades. Now, some attorneys claim that they are seeing some equalization in how the family court treats men and women as part of a divorce. In fact, some attorneys say they are seeing an increase in the number of women who are paying child and spousal support.

The claims of an increase are supported by a survey conducted by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. Of the over 1,600 attorneys who participated, approximately 54 percent say that, over the last three years, they saw an increase in the number of mothers who pay child support. Approximately 45 percent reported an increase in the number of women paying spousal support.

These changes could signal that women's earning power is increasing. While in the 1960s, only a few households were composed of a family with a woman as the main earner, 40 percent of families had a woman as the main provider in a 2013. Now, it is more common for a women to work in business where her husband works as a teacher, for example -- a trend that may be reflected in support agreements.

However, some women argue in court that their husbands are underemployed -- that they could work at a higher paying company if so desired. Such an argument may be ineffective if the husband was underemployed throughout the marriage. Because of the complexities of such issues and the difficulty of changing an original agreement, both men and women in Nebraska who are seeking a divorce often choose to hire an attorney with experience with family law matters to advise them throughout the process.

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