When to Hire a Vocational Expert in Divorce Proceedings

Date Posted:June 12, 2015 | Categories:,

Vocational Expert in Divorce

Vocational experts evaluate a person’s education, abilities, interests, experience and other qualifications and look at that in light of the current employment market. They assess the likelihood that a person can get a job, and what s/he can expect to earn, both immediately and long term. Employability assessments can help determine the amount of support a spouse can contribute, the degree to which a spouse is entitled to support, and whether a spouse is capable of contributing to his or her own support and support of the children.

If you’re involved in an acrimonious divorce, both sides want to be sure that the conclusions reached regarding support and contribution to support is fair and reasonable.  If your spouse’s attorney requests a vocational analysis, it would be wise to hire your own expert to conduct an analysis as well. Even if your spouse’s attorney has not hired a vocational expert, you may want to employ one to be sure the financial arrangements, such as spousal and child support, are equitable.

The vocational expert conducts an employability assessment. This assessment is used when, as an example, there is a question about either party’s income potential or their ability to be employed.  By using a vocational expert, you and your attorney are trying to determine the highest level of occupational capacity and income a party can achieve.

The vocational expert’s assessments and analysis can document a change in your ability to earn. If you were ill or injured, as an example, and that prevented you from working as you did in the past, the vocational expert can help you find work, but also help the court understand your challenges and limitations so spousal support is adjusted accordingly.

The actual assessment is basically an interview process between your spouse and the vocational expert. The vocational expert interviews the subject spouse to assess work history, education, aptitude, career options and job market information, health, length of the marriage, absence from the work force, and any other factors that may impact his or her ability to be gainfully employed. Then the expert issues the report of the assessment with an opinion of the subject spouse’s ability to get a job and the income level likely. Then this is used to calculate a fair support amount in settlement discussions.  These assessments generally occur in the discovery phase of the divorce.  The assessment may be ordered by the court or requested by either attorney.

Hiring Your Ohio Divorce Attorney

At Edward F. Whipps & Associates, our divorce attorneys understand the challenges involved in divorce and place a priority on getting you through the legal complexities of this difficult time in the best way possible. The assistance of a divorce attorney who has a wealth of experience to call upon in serving your needs as a client at this challenging and trying time is essential in the divorce process.

Do you need an experienced divorce attorney? Whether or not you anticipate any difficulty in your divorce, Edward F. Whipps & Associates is here to help you. You can arrange a mutually convenient time for a consultation with Edward F. Whipps & Associates by calling our Columbus office at (614) 461-6006, our Dublin office at (614) 461-6007.