When Should I Hire a Vocational Expert for My Dissolution of Marriage Proceeding?

A vocational expert evaluates a person’s education, abilities, experience and other qualifications to assess their probability of getting a job and their earning potential in the local, existing job market. An assessment such as this can help determine fair and reasonable financial assistance, in regards to child support and alimony (maintenance). If you’re involved in a vindictive or rancorous divorce, here’s when you may need to add a vocational expert to your team of qualified professionals.

When You May Need a Vocational Expert

Alimony (maintenance) and child support is largely based on income. While earning less means lower support payments for a paying spouse, it usually increases the chances of receiving alimony (maintenance) and higher support amounts if you’re a receiving spouse. As you can figure, sometimes divorcing spouses attempt to cheat the system by manipulating their income.

For example, if a spouse voluntarily decides to cut back on work hours or leaves a good-paying job for a position with a lower salary, these are red-flags during a divorce proceeding. A vocational expert can review the circumstances surrounding these kinds of income loss and may be able to figure out why they occurred. While it could be as simple as an injury that has impacted their ability to work, it could also be malicious.

Another example where you may need a vocational expert is if a spouse has been out of work for quite a bit of time. If there is no viable reason for them not to be looking for employment, a vocational expert can look at several factors and determine what type of job the unemployed spouse would be suited for, how they could re-enter the job market and the amount of money a spouse could be earning.

What Happens Next?

If a court finds that a spouse has been purposely reducing their income or refuses to work, the court may impute income to the offender. To be more specific, the court may base child support and alimony (maintenance) on the amount the spouse should be earning, not the amount that they are currently earning. The offending spouse must then meet this financial obligation or face further repercussions.

If you have any questions about using a vocational expert for your dissolution of marriage proceedings, please contact our St. Louis family law attorney at Galmiche Law Firm, P.C. today. We assist clients in all types of family law matters, such as divorce, alimony (maintenance), division of property, domestic violence and more.

Call (636) 552-4841 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation.
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