What do the nuclear family and the glass ceiling have in common?
They’re both on their way out in the United States.
The latest data that speaks to this is the fact that more women are paying alimony and child support than ever before.
According to Reuters, over half of divorce lawyers are seeing more mothers paying child support in the last three years, and nearly half of the lawyers have noticed more moms paying alimony.
Somewhat hilariously, a lawyer quoted in Reuters says, “We see women who are every bit as angry as their male counterparts, maybe more so, when they are confronted with the concept of paying spousal support to a man.”
He does redeem himself, however, by both observing that women are often the family breadwinners and acknowledging: “The glass ceiling has been pierced and more and more women have taken over the financial responsibilities and have been saddled with them as well. It is a fact of the way our society has evolved over the last number of years.”
This seems like the perfect time for a quote from Ben Parker*: With great power comes great responsibility. While we so often balk at the barriers—glass or otherwise—impeding our professional progress, we would do well to keep in mind that our evolving role in society has implications beyond the workplace. Like with divorce, for example.
That’s not to say we should stop striving, though. It’s just to say that as we change things, we had better be prepared for things to change.
*Peter Parker’s uncle, people. Spiderman!