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Change in income may mean change in custody expectations

As many in Columbus, Ohio, have noticed, the landscape of the professional world has been changing for years now. According to reports, almost 30 percent of working wives make more income than their husbands. In years past, this would be unheard of and is causing some major shake-ups in certain areas of family life, particularly those involving divorce. One of these is child custody and some women are up in arms over the rulings that have been passed down.

In a child custody determination, the parent who spends the most time with the kids is often the one who is considered the primary caregiver. This means that they will get at least half of the time with the kids and, depending on the circumstances, maybe more. When men dominated the workplace, a typical ruling would go something like this: The mother received custody of the kids and was allowed to keep the home, giving her a place to raise the kids. While she got this, the father would pay child support and possibly alimony, particularly if the mother was not receiving a paycheck.

Now, things are changing, and it seems this transitional period is providing women with the short end of the stick. Though parenting situations vary, it is more likely for the person who receives less income to have more time to spend with the kids. When courts examine a family in order to determine a custody arrangement, this factor is examined, especially if it actually translated to more care for the children. With some women making more than their husbands, this means that men may be receiving a higher percentage of custody time. It also means that women who earn the most income and provide an exemplary model for motherhood could be getting shafted by the custody arrangement. In order to avoid receiving a less-than-satisfactory custody determination, many people seek the assistance of an attorney. This also gives them the ability to better understand the situation they are in.

Source:  Huffington Post, "Child Custody and the Working Mom" Lisa Helfend Meyer, Jun. 01, 2013

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