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How Divorce Has Improved for Men in the Past Decade

Posted on in Child Custody

How Divorce Has Improved for Men in the Past DecadeDivorce in the U.S. has changed in many ways during the last decade. The divorce rate has settled down from the boom the country experienced in the 1970s. Millennials, who were the children of many of those divorces, are waiting longer to get married and start a family. Divorce has also become more amicable because of the rising use of conflict resolution methods such as mediation and collaborative divorce. Women have increasing power during the process and are less likely to be financially dependent upon men. However, men have also seen increased benefits from divorce, thanks to that same trend towards gender equality.

Father’s Rights

The presumption used to be that the mother would have most of the control over the children after a divorce because the mother was the primary caretaker in the family. Fathers would typically have less decision-making power, and equal parenting time was practically unheard of. Now, courts see the importance of both divorced parents having a major role in raising their children. This means that courts:

  • Are more likely to consider a father’s request for equal parenting time
  • May give a majority of the parenting time to a father if it is in the children’s best interest
  • May give more weight to a father’s desire for shared parenting, even if they were less active as a parent during the marriage

It is difficult to obtain equal parenting time in Illinois because courts presume that it is better for the children if one parent has more parenting time. Still, a proactive father is more likely to be rewarded, instead of getting the children every other weekend.

Support Payments

Many men are paying less in spousal maintenance and child support than they would have even a decade ago. Women still earn less than men on average at their jobs, which means they are more likely than men to require spousal maintenance. However, they are less likely than before to receive permanent maintenance. Courts expect a maintenance recipient to make a good-faith effort to increase their income so that they no longer need maintenance.

The child support system in Illinois has changed in a way that benefits many fathers. With the previous system, the nonresidential parent would pay a designated percentage of their income as child support, based on the number of children. With mothers more likely to have a majority of the parenting time, fathers were the ones having to pay. Now, the Illinois child support formula considers the incomes of both parents and the division of parenting time. Fathers are still more likely to pay child support, but the amount may be less depending on how much money the mother earns.

Contact a Kane County Divorce Lawyer

The divorce process has changed many times in U.S. history, based on new laws and societal norms. The St. Charles, Illinois, divorce attorneys at Goostree Law Group keep up with the latest divorce trends to better help their clients. Schedule a free consultation by calling 630-584-4800.


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