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Melissa A. Featherston

The changing gender roles in child support arrangements

Traditionally, men have been ordered to make child support payments in support of their minor children. However, as the traditional gender roles in American families and the workforce change, it is increasingly common for the mother to be primarily responsible to pay child support. This is particularly common when the woman makes more money than the man or when the children spend more time with the father.

A recent study has found that in as many an 40 percent of American households, including those in Missouri, women are the primary breadwinners in the family. When fathers have stayed home with the children or spent more time at home with the kids, it makes financial sense for the working mother to provide the income needed for the children. These changing trends will have an impact on family law and many divorce cases.

The way child support is determined in Missouri is based on state laws. The amount paid typically depends upon the income of the parents, the amount of time spent with the children and the length of the marriage (when the parents were married). Child support could also depend on which parent is granted primary custody or if the parents will have a shared parenting plan.

As the traditional gender roles of women and men shift and change, custody and support rulings will likely change as well. During a divorce, it can be complicated to work through the details of custody and child support, but it is not impossible to come to an acceptable solution for both parties. This is one of the benefits of utilizing mediation to work through these contentious issues.

Source: commdiginews.com, "More women paying child support, spousal support", Myra Fleischer, May 27, 2014

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