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Studies: The role of breadwinner should fall to men

When imagining a child support situation, many people envision men making payments to women who have custody of the kids. For many in Illinois and around the country, that may be true. However, there is an increasing number of women who pay child support. While it may not be the traditional arrangement, it is one that more and more people are facing.

Roughly 40 percent of mothers in the United States are the primary breadwinners, though several studies indicate that society’s views have yet to catch up to the trend. A recent poll from the Pew Research Center found that roughly 78 percent of women find it very important that their mate have a steady job. In contrast, only 48 percent of men do. The findings closely align with another study conducted 20 years ago, indicating that despite the ever-changing family dynamic, many people’s views toward the breadwinner role have remained the same.

For example, actress Halle Berry and her ex-boyfriend share custody of their 6-year-old daughter. According to reports, Berry has tried to modify her child support obligations. She currently pays $16,000 a month and would like to reduce it to $3,000, as Berry states that her ex-boyfriend is not actively seeking employment. Some media outlets have started degrading the ex-boyfriend, calling him a “bum,” yet the term is rarely used when describing a situation in which a woman stays home to raise children and a man makes child support payments.

Whatever the dynamic is, it is important for parents to establish a child support plan that will serve the children’s best interests. Anyone with questions regarding payments should consult with an attorney.

Source: Time Magazine, “Halle Berry’s Child-Support Fight: Female Breadwinners Can’t Have It Both Ways,” Cathy Young, Oct. 20, 2014

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