Jeff Landers is a certified financial planner who often comments on divorce issues. Recently he discussed reasons why a vocational expert can be useful in a dissolution of marriage. A vocational expert will evaluate a person’s abilities, interests, education, experience and other qualifications against the backdrop of a current employment market. Such an expert assesses the likelihood that a person can get a job, and what he or she can expect to earn, both immediately and in the long term.
In a dissolution of marriage case, information and evaluations for a vocational expert can be presented to the court for consideration in determining spousal support/alimony and child support payments.
A vocational evaluator can assist you by:
- Obtaining an objective, professional assessment of your spouse’s earning potential. In some cases, a spouse with historically high earnings will nevertheless want his or her alimony and/or child support obligations to be determined based on a much lower income. However much a source of pride your spouse’s high income has been during the marriage, once in divorce proceedings, he or she may claim his earnings have plummeted due to the current economic conditions or for other reasons. He or she may even quit their job or take a lower paying position during the dissolution of a marriage only so their alimony and/or child support payments may be less. Fortunately, a vocational expert can cut through your spouse’s false assertions and get to the heart of the matter: What can your spouse reasonably be expected to earn? Has his or her income legitimately decreased? Is it likely to rebound?;
- To obtain a realistic idea of your own employability and earning potential. Your spouse may insist that you are fully capable of earning a six-figure income, even if you’ve been out of the workforce for many years. This is particularly true if you have advanced degrees or special training. If, like many dedicated spouses, you gave up employment to assist your spouse’s career or take care of the home or family, you will want to know what your employment prospects truly are and what you can actually expect to earn if you reenter the workplace. A vocational expert can tell you how your education and work history position will fit in today’s job market and whether you will need additional training or education to update your skills; Schedule a Personalized Divorce Assessment with an Attorney Today!
- To provide another opinion if your spouse is retaining a vocational expert, or if a vocational evaluation is court ordered. If you are requesting alimony payments or child support payments as part of your dissolution of marriage claims, your spouse can ask that a vocational evaluation be conducted on you to determine your earning capacity in the current job market. Your projected earning potential is then imputed or assigned a value and the alimony or child support your spouse will be required to pay could be reduced by that amount. In contentious dissolution of marriage cases, both sides may bring a vocational expert to be sure that the conclusions reached are reasonable, fair, and consistent. If you are required to undergo a vocational evaluation, it may be in your best interest to have your own expert conduct a similar evaluation to provide an alternative opinion to the court; and
- To evaluate employability or earning capacity after a change in life circumstances. The evaluation performed by a vocational expert can document a change in your ability to earn income. For example, you could experience an illness or injury that prevents you from working as you once did or could. A vocational expert cannot only assist you in finding fulfilling work that’s possible for you to do, such an expert also could provide an evaluation that objectively describes your limitations to the court so spousal support and child support can be appropriately adjusted.
Experienced divorce attorneys throughout Palm Beach County know that in today’s economic climate, vocational evaluations are becoming more and more prevalent in contested family law cases. Consequently, the use of a vocational expert may be in your best interests to secure a fair award of alimony/spousal support and/or child support in your case.
Board Certified Marital and Family Law Attorney Charles D. Jamieson understands that divorce is an extremely sensitive and important issue. Thanks to extensive experience and a focus on open communication, Attorney Jamieson adeptly addresses the complex issues surrounding dissolution of marriage while delivering excellent personal service. To discuss dissolution of marriage in Florida, please contact The Law Firm of Charles D. Jamieson, P.A.The Law Firm of Charles D. Jamieson, P.A. or call 561-478-0312.