When it comes to gender, money and parenting, there are two prevailing issues:
- Dads who do not live with their kids are barely involved. (Just 22% of dads who live apart from their children see them more than once weekly, per Pew.)
- That pay gap will. not. close.
Here’s the answer:
Start all custody negotiations at a default 50-50 visitation and custody, with no child support or alimony.
While there is great movement towards equally shared visitation time in at least 20 states, the majority of family courts still default to some version of model that has prevailed in separated families for decades:
- Dad pays mom child support, and maybe alimony.
- Mom is primary custodian and dad gets “Friday night special” — every-other weekend, and Wednesday night dinners.
This antiquated arrangement only reinforces the sexist notions:
- Women are incapable of supporting themselves.
- Fathers are inferior parents.
Indeed, this outdated agreement holds women, men, families and the economy back.
In this episode I argue for a 50-50 custody, no child support arrangement. Arguments:
Unmarried moms would have so, so much more time to invest in their careers and businesses.
Fathers would be forced to make the hard work-life decisions that women have known for generations, leveling the workplace playing field.
It would create a collective mindshift at home, work and in the bedroom. If women know they can never rely on a man outside of marriage for income, we will make different, better decision about our careers, and money. If men know they cannot skirt their parental responsibilities, they will be more thoughtful about bringing babies into the world.
For more on this topic, read:
Want to close the pay gap? Get dads more involved? Default to 50-50 custody and no child support
Emma Johnson is a veteran money writer, noted blogger, bestselling author and an host of the award-winning podcast, Like a Mother with Emma Johnson. A former Associated Press Financial Wire reporter and MSN Money columnist, Emma has written for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Glamour, Oprah.com, REAL SIMPLE, Parenting, USA Today and others.
The Kickass Single Mom: Be Financially Independent, Discover Your Sexiest Self, and Raise Fabulous, Happy Children (Penguin, 2017), was a #1 bestseller and was featured in hundreds of media, including The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Fox & Friends, Oprah.com and the New York Post, which named it to its ‘Must Read” list.
Her popular blog Wealthysinglemommy.com, and podcast Like a Mother, explore issues facing professional single moms: business and career, money, sex, relationships and parenting. Emma regularly comments on these topics for outlets such as CNN, Headline News, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Fox & Friends, CNBC, NPR, TIME, MONEY, O, The Oprah Magazine, Woman’s Day, The Doctors, and many more. She was named Parents magazine’s “Best of the Web,” one of “20 Personal Finance Influencers to Follow on Twitter” by AOL DailyFinance, “Top 15 Personal Finance Podcasts” by U.S. News, and “Most Eligible New Yorkers” by New York Observer.
A popular speaker on gender equality, Emma presented at the United Nations Summit for Gender Equality.
Emma grew up in Sycamore, Ill., and lives in New York City with her children.