Is There a Gender Shift Regarding who Pays Child Support?

Everyone in Utah may already know, either through personal experience or through a friend, how challenging a divorce can be for the entire family. However, when it comes to issues such as custody and child support, people may still make assumptions that are no longer true. It can no longer be assumed who the breadwinner is in a family and who will receive custody of the children.

Not long ago, when a couple divorced, the mother received primary custody of the children and the father paid child support. Of course, that still happens today in many cases, but these days, the opposite may also be true. In today’s society, it is not only possible, but likely in many cases, that the woman is the primary breadwinner, and therefore the father takes on the role of primary caregiver to the children.

The number of fathers taking on this traditionally female role has increased nearly nine times since 1960. In fact, approximately 30 percent of child support payments nationwide go to fathers, not mothers. While women have been out conquering the corporate world, many men have been conquering the home front.

More often than in the past, it is just as likely that a father will receive an equal chance at primary custody of the children. Fortunately, Utah’s child support guidelines do not care about the gender of the paying party. The criteria used to determine how much child support is to be paid and by whom generally comes down to a mathematical equation. It just so happens that an increasing number of these calculations requires mothers to pay child support to fathers instead of the other way around.

Source:, “More women paying child support, spousal support“, Myra Fleischer, May 27, 2014

Published On: June 7th, 2014Categories: Child SupportComments Off on Is There a Gender Shift Regarding who Pays Child Support?
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About the Author: Marco Brown
Marco C. Brown was named Utah’s Outstanding Family Law Lawyer of the Year in 2015. He graduated with distinction from the University of Nebraska College of Law in 2007 and is currently the managing partner of Brown Family Law, LLC.
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