Over the past 10 years, a lot of changes have been made to traditional family ideals in Illinois. More women have entered the workforce and there are more men staying home to raise their families than ever before. In many households, both partners work. Sometimes, one even works a full-time job from home.
In spite of these changes, Forbes points out that staying home is still largely the domain of women. Only 7% of men are stay-at-home dads, compared to more than one-quarter of American women. To add to this, 10% of these women are highly educated with masters degrees that would have served them well in the workplace.
There is also still a widely held belief that women should be the ones to stay at home if either partner has to. Only 1% of Americans believe that fathers make better stay-at-home parents. More than half think women do a much better job of parenting when they are the ones staying at home to raise the family.
So, what happens when they divorce? One study cited by Forbes implies that stay-at-home moms may find themselves in a difficult situation after getting divorced. For starters, they are unlikely to get half of everything accumulated during the marriage and long-term alimony is slowly getting phased out all across the country. If the children are not yet grown, she might also have to assist in providing for them on half the income she used to or less.
Naturally, there are exceptions to this role. The ex-wife of Amazon’s CEO, for instance, will reportedly become the third-richest woman in the world at the end of her divorce settlement. She, too, set her career aside to support her husband and raise the family.
Business Insider adds one additional complication to whether or not women get half. It comes down to whether or not a state awards divorce settlements based on equitable distribution or community property. Stay-at-home moms are more likely to get half of all assets acquired during the marriage in community property states, such as Wisconsin, California and Texas. Illinois is an equitable distribution state, which focuses more on fair distribution decided either by the couple or a judge.