The Importance of Conducting a Vocational Evaluation During Your Divorce
While a vocational evaluation may seem like an assessment that could only play a role in job placement, the reality is that this type of expert opinion can also be highly beneficial during divorce. For instance, vocational evaluations can play a crucial role when it comes to making decisions about alimony and child support payments, so if you and your spouse are thinking about filing for divorce, you should strongly consider speaking with an experienced Fort Lauderdale alimony lawyer who can explain the benefits of obtaining a vocational evaluation.
What are Vocational Evaluations?
Vocational evaluations are assessments that are conducted by experts who interview the parties in question about their work history, education, job skills, credentials, historical earnings, job qualifications, and interests against the backdrop of the current job market. After conducting these interviews, vocational experts, who are familiar with the types of skills that are in demand in the employment market and what income those kinds of skills can command in various careers, issue an informed opinion to the court about:
- A person’s short and long-term earning capacity;
- A person’s ability to find employment in the current market; and
- A person’s imputed income, if he or she is currently unemployed.
When making these determinations, experts rely not only on the information provided by the parties, but also external economic factors, such as the local job market and the state of the economy in general.
The Benefits of Hiring a Vocational Expert
There are a number of benefits to hiring a vocational expert to conduct an evaluation of you or your spouse during divorce. Spouses who are planning on seeking alimony in particular, should consider obtaining a vocational evaluation, as a person’s potential earning ability is directly related to the amount of alimony that a court is willing to award. In fact, courts will only award alimony to a party if the alleged need for such payments can be supported by factual inquiry, such as evidence provided by an expert. Conversely, opinions from a vocational evaluation expert can also be used to demonstrate a spouse’s imputed income, which is especially important in cases where one spouse is unemployed and seeking alimony payments.
Finally, vocational experts also play an important role when it comes to:
- Demonstrating a change in earning capacity caused by a substantial life change, such as a serious illness, remarriage, or the birth of a child;
- Rebutting someone’s assertion that his or her spouse earns far more than he or she actually does;
- Terminating alimony payments; and
- Determining a non-custodial parent’s child support obligation.
To find out more about the benefits of hiring a vocational evaluation expert during your own divorce, please contact our legal team today.
Schedule a Case Evaluation with a Florida Alimony Lawyer
If you need help preparing for your own vocational evaluation, or have questions about whether obtaining an evaluation could prove helpful in your own divorce, please call 954-945-7591 to speak with dedicated Fort Lauderdale alimony lawyer Sandra Bonfiglio, P.A. about your concerns.