It is unlikely that any New York resident who is getting a divorce in New York will receive a settlement comparable to that of McKenzie Bezos, wife of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. Their divorce agreement leaves her the richest woman in the world. She became a stay-at-home mother and novelist after helping her husband start Amazon. Around one-fourth of all mothers in the United States do not work outside the home, but often, they do not fare well financially in a divorce.

A majority of Americans think mothers provide better care for children than fathers do, but this does not always translate into agreeing that a mother’s contributions to the family were the equivalent of the father’s if he was the breadwinner. A study conducted by two law professors looked at people’s attitudes toward stay-at-home mothers in a divorce and what they thought they should receive in a settlement.

Participants were given a scenario to read in which the mother left work to raise the couple’s children. However, the details diverged in various scenarios in which the mother’s level of educational attainment varied along with their occupations and how much property they had. While both men and women recognized value in the mother’s contributions, women placed a higher value on caregiving while men valued the role of the father as breadwinner more highly.

People whose marriages are ending may want to consult with a family law attorney who might assist with negotiations. Many couples prefer to try to reach an agreement with the assistance of their respective attorneys or use an alternative dispute resolution method, such as collaborative divorce, to reach an agreement. This can be cheaper, quicker, and less stressful than going to court. However, if couples are unable to reach a resolution, litigation might be necessary.