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Some attorneys beginning to "specialize" in divorces for men

Male residents of Rhode Island will be interested to learn that there is a new crop of divorce attorneys emerging that are gearing their services to men. These "divorce lawyers for men" do all the same things as normal divorce lawyers. They help sort out issues such as property division, custody plans, alimony and child support. The difference is that they market to men who are afraid of getting a bad deal in their divorce.

The lawyers specializing in men's divorces claim that they are experienced with the biases and challenges that men face in getting a divorce. They help their clients keep their kids, house and money. These firms charge about the same as other family law firms.

Some family law attorneys are critical about the concept, saying that divorce outcomes will depend on the judge, state law and the competency of the attorney representing you.

However, many attorneys believe that the divorce laws are biased against men. Fortunately, laws are trying to be gender neutral. Many states now prefer joint custody, and some are putting limits on spousal support so that there is no longer lifetime alimony. In addition, as women's earnings equal or are sometimes greater than their partners, some ex-wives even end up paying alimony.

Despite these changes in state law, some lawyers say their male clients still encounter discrimination from judges who view men as less capable parents or who are hesitant to require a woman to pay spousal support. For this reason, some lawyers are working to fight this legal disparity.

Source: The Wall Street Journal, "Lawyers Carve Out 'Divorce for Men' Niche," Jennifer Smith, July 23, 2012

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