How a changing workforce can change traditional roles in divorce

The streets and businesses of Boston are filled with women with impressive educations, careers and career goals. Those professional women’s goals might be no different from the men standing next to them. So what happens when two professionals get married and have children?

A recent New York Times piece follows the lives of a few families with untraditional lifestyles. Their lives are unique in at least a couple of ways. The families bring in $1 million plus a year, and it is the women earning that money while the husbands are the “homemakers.”

Whereas in decades past, the wives of Wall Street tended to be those in the background, caring for the kids, keeping the home and planning playdates and social functions, wives of Wall Street these days can actually be found in their own corner offices. Though the number of women in high-level positions within the financial industry is still significantly lower than the number of men, the trend of women joining the competitive field means changes in the household.

Among the families that the Times followed, the husbands gave up their careers so that their wives could focus on their professional lives and success. The wives in the situations were bringing in more income, making it more realistic for the families to sustain a lifestyle where one parent could stay home with the kids.

This perhaps still rare but growing family trend intersects with divorce law because of alimony and child custody laws. Stay-at-home dads have rights that deserve as much protection as the stay-at-home mothers who have traditionally been the lesser-earning spouses and primary caregivers.

A Massachusetts family law attorney can explain the state’s laws regarding these sensitive matters. It isn’t gender that should impact divorce settlements; it is numbers and facts related to the best interests of the kids.

Source: The New York Times, “Wall Street Mothers, Stay-Home Fathers,” Jodi Kantor and Jessice Silver-Greenberg, Dec. 7, 2013


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