Spousal support is often a contested issue because parties can contest or negotiate (as one of many examples) what the other’s actual income is – drawing out the process and making it all the more complicated. Going it alone, (or with a lawyer that does not truly care about their clients), can bring even more mental distress and potentially result in failing to get the amount of spousal support you need.
If the less monied spouse does not work, the more monied spouse may raise the question of whether or not the less monied spouse can work and thus require less in spousal support payments.
A good example to think of is where a husband who is the primary income earner and a wife that is a homemaker and has stayed home raising children for 10 years. The more monied spouse can seek to retain a vocational expert to assert that the homemaker could find employment. In these cases, it is common that the more monied spouse retains an expert more often than the less monied spouse.
When vocational experts assess the other party in a spousal support case, they evaluate things like:
- education level;
- work skills;
- prior earnings;
- job search.
Vocational experts report their assessment to the court when complete. In their report, they give their opinion regarding whether the less monied spouse could find gainful employment (assuming a diligent effort to do so) based on the criteria included in their assessment and additional research.
Vocational experts may go as far as to search job listings and suggest the less monied spouse as undeserving of as high an amount of spousal support as they’re claiming – based on jobs they could likely get if they applied for them.
Courts can interpret these opinions in combination with evidence that the less monied spouse has not attempted to find gainful employment, and subsequently lower the amount of spousal support. With many attorneys employing this approach, it has proven, in general, very persuasive to the courts. As such, it is imperative to document all job applications if you find yourself in this situation.
On the contrary, spouses with no work experience for years, (or extremely low income), can leverage their situation and increase the likelihood they receive sufficient spousal support. Each case is different. Having the Law Offices of David Bliven in your corner can help position you to get the best outcome possible.
For more information on Contested Spousal Support In a NY Divorce, an i is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (914) 468-0968 today.