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De-gendering alimony in divorce

North Carolina residents might be interested to hear that the traditional roles that have ruled marriage and divorce have begun to shift throughout the years. Traditionally, alimony was designed to compensate the wife for giving up her earning power to support her husband's career and care for the home and family. It offered her economic stability in the aftermath of a failed marriage.

However, now it is not always the wife who stays at home. In some marriages, the father is a stay-at-home dad. In still other marriages, both spouses have careers and contribute to a dual-income marriage. Alimony, therefore, is not always awarded to the woman in a divorce. More wives are finding themselves ordered to pay alimony when they get divorced from their husbands. This is if the couple didn't enter into a prenuptial agreement before marriage that made provisions for how their assets would be divided if they ever got a divorce.

In addition to alimony, there are other points that couples must consider in a divorce. If they have any children together, they have to decide who will get custody of the children and how much the other spouse will pay in child support. They must also discuss how they are going to divide their property, assets and liabilities. Such topics are not always clear-cut and easy for both spouses to agree on.

Family law lawyers might be able to help spouses negotiate with one another to come up with a divorce settlement that they can both agree to. In some cases where parties cannot agree upon a settlement, the couple may enter into court proceedings. Lawyers might then be able to sway the court to rule in favor of their clients by establishing a sound case for a settlement.

Source: TIME Ideas, "The De-Gendering of Divorce: Wives Pay Ex-Husbands Alimony Too Read more:", Liza Mundy, May 16, 2013

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