Men often believe that they don't have the same rights as women during a
divorce. While the law is suppose to be gender neutral, their still is bias even
if it is not spoken. Do women have a leg up in
custody disputes, yes, but often because they are the parent that stays home and raises
the children. But what happens when the father stays home and the wife
has the career? What happens when the wife significantly out earns her
husband? Will the courts look at a father who does not work differently
from a mother that has not worked?
Many judges and law clerks will agree that a father that has stayed home
so that the wife's career can flourish should receive
spousal support. The question then becomes for how long and how much. If the father had
a career prior to raising the children the same questions ought to be
asked: how long will it take to get back into the field, what earnings
are reasonably expected, what additional education is needed and how will
the children's needs be met. There has been a developing trend to
impute income to mother's that are capable of working and choose not
to and so, for sure, that trend will be applied to men.
If the wife has retirement benefits it is far easier to have the court
provide that the husband receives his share of the marital portion whether
it is a pension or deferred compensation. Obtaining
equitable distribution of retirement benefits regardless of gender has become standard. Yet it
is still difficult to obtain spousal support for a husband. This needs
to be corrected.
Without a doubt much more work needs to be done to make the courts fairer
for father's in custody disputes as well as spousal support. Each
time the courts are confronted with these issues, progress can be made
with good, strong and effective legal representation. Please call my office
if you are facing these problems so that we can help you protect your
rights and be treated fairly.