How can a Vocational Expert help me in my Virginia Divorce?

How can a Vocational Expert help me in my Virginia Divorce?

How can a Vocational Expert help me in my Virginia Divorce?

A: In a divorce case, it is highly important that each spouse’s earning potential is clearly and accurately estimated to ensure that spousal support, property division, and child support decisions are fair and equitable. For example, if your spouse has a much higher earning potential than you do because of an advanced degree or professional license, a court may order your spouse to pay you some type of spousal support. One tool many people are increasingly using to determine earning capacity in a divorce is a vocational expert.

What is a vocational expert?

A vocational expert is a person who professionally studies the current job market, in-demand skills for certain jobs, and how much an individual may expect to make based on their education and skill sets. A vocational expert examines numerous factors to estimate for which jobs someone may qualify in the current market and the earning potential in such jobs.

How can a vocational expert help me?

Vocational experts help in numerous ways in divorce cases. First, if your spouse is purposefully under-employed in an attempt to limit support requirements, a vocational expert can identify their actual earning capacity for the court to consider. Vocational experts may also help if your former spouse later tries to modify a support order due to a decrease in income.

Additionally, your spouse may try to claim that you do not need spousal support because you can get a different job. For instance, imagine that you have been staying home to care for the household for many years while your spouse worked. Even though you may have a degree and a past career, being out of the workforce for years may mean you do not have up-to-date training and knowledge to easily return to a quality position. A vocational expert may identify that you will have to gain new training or education in order to support yourself, which means a court may be likely to award you temporary alimony.

– by Raymond Benzinger