Negotiating divorce when roles are reversed

Lake Toback Attorneys

Marriages with traditional role expectations in Illinois and across the nation call to mind images of the husband leaving for work each day while the wife stays home, takes care of the kids and cleans the house. While some people, especially those under 30, might laugh at those stereotypes, at least one study shows that roles have been slow to change in the area of divorce.

According to statistics compiled from the U.S. census, about 33 percent of women earn more than their husband. However, couples rarely expect this difference when they begin a marriage together. When they end their union, higher-earning women might not want to give up their hard-earned money in the form of alimony payments or shared assets with their former partner as they feel it adds insult to injury.

At least one study indicated the positive effects of men who are more involved in the home and women who contribute more financially as reported in 2010 by the New York Times. However, in practical terms, that satisfaction can be hard to determine as celebrity divorces sometimes show. The recent divorce of Bethenny Frankel and Jason Hoppy supports this. Their marriage allegedly hit the rocks because of the income she generated through books, television and a trademarked product. Hoppy may have felt intimidated by his wife because he didn’t earn more. Frankel might have resented carrying the financial burden of supporting the family.

When a couple reverses roles in a marriage, negotiating alimony can be a challenge. A family attorney might be able to help couples work out these issues.

Source: The Huffington Post, “Divorcing Mr. Mom,” Katherine Eisold Miller, April 2, 2013

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Negotiating divorce when roles are reversed