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More women ordered to pay alimony than ever before

Times certainly have changed. In the not-too-distant past, alimony, also referred to as spousal support, was almost exclusively considered to be made by ex-husbands to their former wives. Divorce lawyers say that they are now observing more and more women being ordered to pay alimony to their former husband, rather than the other way around, according to HuffPost.

In Massachusetts divorce cases, the spouse who earns more than the other might be ordered to make alimony payments to the other spouse. This is not an automatic conclusion; there are many factors the court considers before arriving at such a decision.

Whether or not the glass ceiling has in fact been shattered ­- or whether it has even been reached yet - women are getting closer to pay equality. With the additional wealth and professional recognition they are gaining, women are also increasingly more likely to make more than their spouse than ever before, HuffPost reported. Upon divorce, therefore, they have a greater chance of being on the hook for alimony.

In a sign of women's progress in the professional fields, the number of women getting law degrees has nearly doubled since 1980, according to data from the Digest of Education Statistics. In addition, women currently earn medical degrees in the U.S. at an almost equal level as men, as opposed to 1980 when they received only about a third of medical degrees.

Source: Huffington Post, "Alimony: Women Increasingly Paying Alimony To Their Ex Husbands," Patricia Reaney, May 10, 2012.

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